A military watchdog was alarmed to witness prominent Republican lawmakers vote to approve a Pentagon bill that includes an amendment requiring 18-year-old girls to register for the draft.
In a 23-3 vote last week, the powerful U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee approved the National Defense Authorization Act. The important bill, which is passed annually, sets policy for the U.S. armed forces and now includes an amendment that requires women ages 18 to 25 to register for Selective Service.
In that final passage, Republicans Tom Cotton and Josh Hawley were the only “nay” GOP votes out of the 12 Republicans who sit on the committee.
When the amendment was presented July 21, five Republicans voted against it only for most to cave during final passage of the NDAA, says Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness.
“There were several Republicans who went along with the advocates of drafting our daughters,” she says. “One of them of all people was Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Who would have thought that?”
Other Republican senators who voted include final passage were Thom Tillis, Dan Sullivan, Kevin Kramer, Roger Wicker, Rick Scott, and Tommy Tuberville.
The GOP senators were blasted by a National Review editorial that pointed out the purpose of a military draft is a war-time emergency:
Let us be blunt: The purpose of conscription in modern warfare is to provide replacement manpower for soldiers killed, maimed, or captured in a war of attrition. In such a circumstance, the need to quickly process and train fresh cohorts of soldiers would be needlessly complicated by the necessity of sifting through twice as many young Americans to find those qualified to serve in the armed forces.
The editorial also pointed back to a 2015 Marine Corps study — which One News Now has also reported on — that placed male and female Marines side by side in simulated combat. Even the toughest female Marine, the editorial recalled, failed to keep up with their male counterparts.
The bipartisan approval to put women in a future draft line comes after the Obama administration forced the military branches to accept women into front-line combat units unless they could defend the male-only policy.
Only one branch, the Marine Corps, pushed back with its year-long combat simulation only to watch the then-Navy Secretary Ray Mabus dismiss it and later punish the Marines.
In a Roll Call story about conservative anger over the GOP vote, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) told the news publication he was among the five senators who voted to oppose the Selective Service amendment when it was offered.
“I support our military’s efforts to offer more opportunities for women who want to volunteer to serve,” Wicker said. “But when I think of my own daughters and granddaughters, I could not in good conscience support an amendment that would compel their military service.”
During final passage, however, Wicker voted for the NDAA itself and touted the “strong, bipartisan” proposal in a statement that can be read here which lists Wicker’s military-related requests in the NDAA for his home state.
“Would [Tuberville] have drafted young women to serve on the Auburn football team?” Donnelly asks of the former Alabama coach. “If not, why would he vote to include women in registration for Selective Service?”
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.