Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate are proposing major changes to existing military draft laws to force women to enlist in the Selective Service System. These changes may be linked to the National Defense Authorization Act, a defense policy bill that leaders believe must pass through Congress.
The Democrat-authored proposal is bringing back the debate over whether women should be required to register for the draft, an idea that both the House and Senate have already considered but failed to make a decision on.
According to Politico, Senate Armed Services Chair Jack Reed led the Democrat-authored proposal, which if approved will force daughters to be drafted to service. The proposal aims to expand registration of the military draft to include "All Americans," which the report said was "striking explicit references to males."
Current military draft laws state that American men must register for the service as soon as they reach 18 years old for potential military conscription. However, there has been no need for anyone to be drafted into the military in more than 40 years. Those who fail to comply with the military draft law may face fines and imprisonment, or may not apply for federal jobs.
Christian Headlines reported that this is not the first time leaders showed interest in opening up the military draft to both sexes. Last year, an 11-person commission created by Congress released a recommendation stating that the "time is right" to "extend Selective Service System registration to include men and women."
The report highlighted how "today, more than 224,000 women currently serve on active duty" and that "by World War II, about 350,000 women were serving throughout the military in noncombat positions." It also pointed out that in 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter "[rescinded] the combat-exclusion policy that previously had prevented women from serving in combat-designated roles."
But not many people are happy about this development, particularly men, especially fathers. Russ Vought, president of the Center for Renewing America and ex-Trump Cabinet, took to Twitter to decry the Democrat-authored proposal, writing, "No. You are not drafting our daughters."
Republican Representative Chip Roy of Texas also took to Twitter to curtly say, "No. Non-negotiable. Thanks."
Stand Together and Concerned Veterans for America's Dan Caldwell proposed, "Selective Service System couldn't effectively manage a draft if they wanted too [sic]. Instead of virtue signaling and forcing more people to register for a system that is practically worthless, SASC should include language in NDAA that abolishes it. It would have bipartisan support."
In 2016, a marquee defense battle on Capitol Hill focused on whether to include women in the draft. The Senate then voted to make the change at its annual defense policy bill, which was supported by then Senate Senate Armed Services Chair John McCain and decried by conservative Repubicans.
However, it did win bipartisan support from the Armed Services Committee. Concerned Women for America was in opposition, however, saying that while they "firmly believe in the equality of men and women," they could not "ignore the physical differences and unique risks to women in combat, particularly in the case of capture."
The group called to refocus the discussion on drafting women to "ignore the physical differences and unique risks to women in combat, particularly in the case of capture" instead. They concluded, "Uncle Sam needs to keep his hands off of our daughters."