Women could be one step closer to being required to sign up for the draft. The House Armed Services Committee cleared a defense policy bill Thursday that amends the draft to include women.
The bill’s vote passed by a narrow two-vote margin and came a month after Defense Secretary Ash Carter approved plans to integrate women into front-line military combat units.
The House will consider the bill next month. If it passes, it is then expected to go to the Senate next fall for final approval.
But the bill’s main sponsor Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., actually voted against the measure.
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He said he offered the measure simply to start a discussion about how the Pentagon’s decision in December to rescind gender restrictions on military service failed to consider whether how that would affect the draft.
Though it could take years to fully incorporate females in these new roles, the military has already begun to put plans into effect.
California Democrat Rep. Jackie Spier, who voted in favor of the bill, said the legislation is a positive step toward gender equality in the military.
“If we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription,” she said.
The House bill also includes a 2.1 percent pay raise for U.S. service members, a health care overhaul, funding for thousands more troops, extra aircraft, littoral combat ships and weaponry beyond that requested by the White House in February.
The United States hasn’t used the draft system since the Vietnam War, so the measure requiring women to register is seen as more symbolic than practical.
Report via CBN News
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