WASHINGTON — Two Republican congressmen who are military veterans have introduced a bill, Draft America’s Daughters Act, requiring women to register for the draft.
Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Ryan Zinke of Montana announced Thursday that the legislation is aimed at provoking a fuller discussion of the Pentagon’s decision to open all combat jobs to women.
Hunter and Zinke say the decision ignores research from the Marine Corps and special operations forces. They also say the decision was made without considering whether women should be drafted and potentially serve on the front lines.
The legislation will require selective service registration for women no later than 90 days after the enactment of the measure or 90 days after the Secretary of Defense opens all combat specialties.
“It’s wrong and irresponsible to make wholesale changes to the way America fights its wars without the American people having a say on whether their daughters and sisters will be on the front lines of combat,” said Hunter in a statement released today.
“If this Administration wants to send 18-20 year old women into combat, to serve and fight on the front lines, then the American people deserve to have this discussion through their elected representatives. The Administration made its decision to open all combat specialties without regard for the research and perspective of the Marine Corps and special operations community, or without consideration or care for whether the draft would have to be opened to both men and women,” Hunter continued.
Hunter and Zinke are hoping that Congress will use this act as a spur further discussions in Congress.
“It’s unfortunate that a bill like this even needs to be introduced. And it’s legislation that I might very well vote against should it be considered during the annual defense authorization process.”
Hunter is a with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Zinke is a former Navy SEAL.
USMC Life staff writer contributed to this report.
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