Congress drops proposal to require women to register for the draft

The move is seen as a win by some Republicans, but Democrats are threatening to oppose the current bill.

Updated: December 6, 2021 - 8:59pm

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Women will not be required to register for the military draft in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, according to Politico.

Legislation expanding the Selective Service System received bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress earlier this year.

Women have been allowed to serve in combat since 2015, prompting calls to include women in the draft. 

The final version of the defense act will be introduced Monday, a source told Politico. The expanded draft was removed so that Republicans would accept military justice system reforms.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted on Monday evening, "If the massive expansion of the draft to include women is not removed, I will continue to insist on a vote on the Senate floor to strike the provision."

Fellow Missouri Republican, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, said adding women to the draft would be "imposing a woke ideology on our troops rather than meeting the current needs of our military," according to Politico. 

"I applaud the removal of this unnecessary provision and am grateful to see reasonable minds come together to join me in resisting this effort," she said.

Some Republicans such as Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst supported the original proposal to include women.

For six decades, the Defense Authorization Act has been signed into law. The 2022 bill will cost more than $750 billion.

Some House Democrats are threatening to oppose the current bill, demanding more reforms to combat military extremism and change how crimes are prosecuted in the armed forces.