Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is criticizing legislative efforts to make women eligible in a military draft after several Senate Republicans voted in favor of a measure that would do just that.
In a June 16 letter that was exclusively obtained by The Epoch Times, Roy called for the removal of a Senate-approved provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—the annual military spending omnibus package—that would require women to register with the Selective Service System (SSS).
That provision won the support of seven Republicans in the Senate Armed Services Committee: Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
Now, Roy is calling on Republicans in the House to oppose the measure.
"I request that you oppose any effort to amend the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA) to require young women to register with the Selective Service," Roy wrote in the letter, which was addressed to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and the panel's ranking Republican member, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).
"Thousands of women serve admirably in the United States Armed Forces, and I am grateful for their service and sacrifice to our country. But, this is not a question of the dedication and willingness of American women to step up and serve their country, but whether we as a country will force the horrors of war upon our wives, our sisters, and our daughters.
"Under no circumstances should Congress greenlight a future that cripples the American family by sending mothers and daughters to the frontlines—drafted to be combat replacements for casualties on the battlefield—while fathers and sons stay home.
"Requiring women to register for the draft does not advance our national security objectives—the only metric by which the NDAA should be measured."
Last year, a similar provision in the NDAA won the support of 316 members of the House, but was later stripped from the legislation.
"On the merits, this is an absurd policy decision," Roy wrote before laying out a litany of reasons to bolster the claim. "First, women and men are different. Women are just not as capable as men in combat roles."
He cited a series of studies by the military that suggest that the differences between men and women cause mixed-sex combat units to underperform and that women are unable to meet the same physical requirements as men.
"Putting aside the issues that arise with mixing the sexes—particularly in a draft setting—certain women can be as capable as certain men," he wrote. "But, on average, it’s simply not true that in combat settings both sexes fare the same overall."
Second, Roy addressed the claim that women would never actually be drafted.
"Some have argued that women will never be drafted anyway," he wrote. "But the fact is, of course they will be. Some of our colleagues won’t even call pregnant women 'women.' Further, the same government that left billions of dollars of equipment in the hands of the Taliban, left Americans and SIVs [special immigrant visa holders] behind in danger, leave our borders wide open, push for defunding police, mandate vaccines, and eliminate life-saving treatments cannot be trusted to not draft our daughters.
"In this, many have argued that we will never need the draft again, but this cannot be certain—there have been two drafts in my own father’s lifetime, and one in mine. And if this is a belief of Members, then this undermines the purpose of drafting women anyway."
Third, he criticized the symbolic nature of the proposal.
"This policy is not needed and is nothing more than another symbol of 'equity,'" Roy wrote. "There are around 17 million men of draft-registration age and some 60 million of 'fighting age' from age 18 up to 49, the vast majority of whom are able-bodied. If we need women for combat operations because we can’t muster a strong response from those numbers, then we’ve messed up so badly that we’re doomed anyway. It won’t matter who we are at war with, be it China or any other country."
Fourth, he dismissed arguments that other countries have made women draft-eligible.
"It doesn’t matter if any other country does it," he wrote. "We are America and we make our own laws based on what is good for our country. Some of our colleagues have pointed to Israel as an example of this, however, we have 1.3 million active-duty volunteer troops, Israel has about 170,000 with conscription in a far more hostile position than ours. Further, there are differences in service requirements for men and women. Males are required to serve 32 months, while females are required to serve 24 months. And, to date, there are still elite IDF units that remain male-only."
Lastly, he argued that the prospect of ending the draft at a later time didn't justify making women draft-eligible now.
"Despite what many of our colleagues have said, we cannot rely on the idea of abolishing the draft later in order to avoid conscripting women. If I had a dollar for every time Congress has said they would 'fix' something down the road, we would have enough to retire the debt we have amassed," Roy wrote.
"To the many women who have volunteered to serve—and the many who have given their lives for, or been injured in service of, our country—thank you, and we are proud of you. However, the reality is that if we are a country that actively chooses to forcibly conscript our daughters, we are past the point of salvation. I urge you to prevent any such provision from being included in the FY 2023 NDAA, or any NDAA thereafter."
It remains unclear whether the provision will be included in the final draft of the NDAA.
Last year, it was removed during a bicameral conference that hammered out a version of the legislation acceptable to both the House and Senate—and could be removed again.
However, its fate may ultimately hinge on Republican opposition in the Senate.
The NDAA usually wins overwhelming bipartisan support in the split upper chamber, but, like most legislation, it needs the support of at least 60 senators to pass the filibuster threshold.
If enough Republicans share Roy's sentiments and the issue seems to endanger the NDAA's passage, it's likely that the provision will ultimately be removed.