The terms of a new bill would require American women to register for the military draft.
On April 27, the United State House of Representatives’ Armed Services Committee voted to back an amendment that would require women to register with the Selective Service Systems within 30 days of turning 18 years of age, as all men must currently do.
America has not had a military draft since the Vietnam War. It does not seem likely that one would be instituted any time soon.
The policy will be included the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Act would allow for $602 billion in defense spending for the fiscal year beginning in October 2016.
The U.S. House at large will vote on the Act in May 2016, which was approved by the committee 60-2 on April 28.
— Tammy Duckworth (@RepDuckworth) April 28, 2016
Former marine and current Republican Representative Duncan Hunter offered the amendment regarding women to the Armed Services Committee in order to instigate a dialogue about the Pentagon’s December 2015 decision.
This past holiday season Defense Secretary Ash Carter rescinded all gender restrictions on military service, opening all of the military’s combat roles to women.
A congressman for California, Hunter attempted to dissuade the committee for allowing the measure to pass.
Hunter said the purpose of the draft is “to get more people to rip the enemy’s throats out.” Hunter continued “I don’t want to see my daughters put in a place where they have to get drafted.”
The majority did not think the gender restrictions on the draft were appropriate. The Armed Services Committee voted to pass the amendment, 32-30.
Another Representative of California, democrat Jackie Speier supported the policy change: “I actually think if we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription.”
The role of women in the military has been a contentious issue in the contemporary United States since late last century. In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that women did not have to register for the draft because combat jobs were closed to them.