The Draft America’s Daughters Act in limbo

The Draft America’s Daughters Act in limbo

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If women can serve in combat jobs, maybe they should be required to register for the draft. The Marine Corps and Army say they should, but Congress is waffling.

in Israel, military service is compulsory for females - photo credit - wikipedia

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2016 — A war of words is being waged in the House of Representatives over whether women should be required to register for the draft. Last month, the House Armed Services Committee passed the Draft America’s Daughters Act (DADA) as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The provision would have required women between the ages of 18-26 to register for the draft as men are now required to do.

Yet according to the Hill, the House Rules Committee, chaired by Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, stripped the provision from the NDAA on Tuesday. Why?

The vote for the draft registration requirement was 32-30. The issue has been controversial. It came to the forefront after Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all combat jobs to women in 2015. The heads of the Marine Corps and the Army have testified in congressional hearings that because all combat roles are open to women, they should be required to register for the draft.

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But in striking DADA, which had been approved for debate in a 234-181 vote, the Rules Committee included a measure that added a “considered as adopted” amendment removing the registration provision and directing  a study of the Selective Service System be done.

military women - photo credit - mooma
military women – photo credit – mooma

The move to remove DADA was political, according to Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo. He believes that as long as the draft exists, it should be mandatory for women as well.

The decision to remove DADA was also opposed by Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass. She said that the vote “precludes Congress from having an open and transparent debate about this very important issue that impacts women’s equality. If we want a full hearing, is there no better place than on the floor of this House,” reported the Hill.

Perhaps House and Senate leaders should put the question before the American people and the presidential candidates. Is the draft really necessary with an all-volunteer military service?

A related question is whether there should be mandatory military service for all citizens 18 and older, as Israel has. Being prepared for attacks on the homeland may require more than an all-volunteer force.

In Israel, military service is compulsory for both males and females. Israel is the only nation in the world that maintains obligatory military service for women. Males serve for three years and females for just under two years, according to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces).

DADA may still be on the legislative table. The Senate Armed Services Committee still has its own version of the Draft America’s Daughters Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell supports the measure, and it may see new life if it can survive a joint House and Senate conference committee and subsequent House and Senate votes.

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Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs began writing professionally in 1975. He has been published in the "New York Times," and has written for the "Detroit News," "Michigan Chronicle," “GOPUSA,” "Soul Source" and "Writers Digest" magazines as well as the Ann Arbor and Cleveland "Examiner," "Free Patriot," "Conservatives4 Palin" and "Positively Republican." The former daily host of The Kevin Fobbs Show on conservative News Talk WDTK - 1400 AM in Detroit, he is also a published author. His Christian children’s book, “Is There a Lion in My Kitchen,” hit bookstores in 2014. He writes for Communities Digital News, and his weekly show "Standing at Freedom’s Gate" on Community Digital News Hour tackles the latest national and international issues of freedom, faith and protecting the homeland and heartland of America as well as solutions that are needed. Fobbs also writes for Clash Daily, Renew America and BuzzPo. He covers Second Amendment, Illegal Immigration, Pro-Life, patriotism, terrorism and other domestic and foreign affairs issues. As the former 12-year Community Concerns columnist with The Detroit News, he covered community, family relations, domestic abuse, education, business, government relations, and community and business dispute resolution. Fobbs obtained a political science and journalism degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1978 and attended Wayne State University Law School. He spearheaded and managed state and national campaigns as well as several of President George W. Bush's White House initiatives in areas including Education, Social Security, Welfare Reform, and Faith-Based Initiatives.