WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Armed Services Committee approved a measure Wednesday requiring women to register for the military draft, a move that comes just a few months after the Defense Department lifted all gender-based restrictions on front-line combat units.
In a twist that presages how contentious further debate may be, the author of the amendment voted against his own measure. It passed the committee by a vote of 32-30.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a former Marine who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, doesn’t support drafting women into combat and he’s opposed to opening infantry and special operations positions to women. He said he offered the measure to trigger a discussion about how the Pentagon’s decision in December to rescind gender restrictions on military service failed to consider whether the exclusion on drafting women also should be lifted.