Capitol Hill
Senate Considers Requiring Women to Register for Military Draft
Senator Angus King says proposal will be debated this week in Defense Authorization Act markup

 Senator Angus King (D-ME) told LPO on Monday afternoon that a proposal by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) requiring all Americans, including women, to register for the military draft will be debated "over the next couple of days" in the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act.

It would amend a current law that states that US men are required to register for potential military conscription when they turn 18 years old.

"I think we should make it a voluntary thing," Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said when asked by LPO about the Senate Democrats' proposal.

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The National Defense Authorization Act provides authorization for appropriations and establishes policies for Department of Defense programs and activities, including personnel strengths. 

I think we should make it a voluntary thing

"I've been supporting [requiring women to register for the military draft] since I introduced my bill on the Universal Service Act," said Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).

The proposal is meant for women and men to bear equal obligations as citizens.

Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) said to LPO, "I have not read what leader Reed is working on, but I do support equality with treatment of men and women with job opportunities and responsibilities that we have with our Armed Forces."

"I also support what Senator Gillibrand has been laying out with making sure there is real, meaningful policy that gets to the bottom of sexual abuse and harassment and that is something Congress should be taking up as well," added Lujan. 

I have not read what leader Reed is working on, but I do support equality with treatment of men and women with job opportunities and responsibilities that we have with our Armed Forces.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) when questioned on whether he would support the bill said, "Let me think on it."

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Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), John Barasso (R-WY), and Alex Padilla (D-CA) told LPO that they had yet to see Senator Reed's proposal.

Only one percent of Americans served in the military during the past 20 years, despite the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and US military deployments around the world. 

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