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Rubio, Colleagues Oppose Using the Defense Bill to Force Women to Register for the Draft
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to Senate Committee on Armed Services (SASC) Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) regarding attempts to use the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to force American women to register for the U.S. Selective Service System. Last year, the Senate FY 2022 NDAA included language requiring women to register for the draft, but thanks to efforts by Rubio and colleagues, the provision was removed from the final bill.
“Women have served in and alongside the Armed Forces since our nation’s founding. Time and again, they have answered the call of duty and served honorably – often heroically – when our nation needed them,” the senators wrote. “But they have done so of their own will. While American men are required to register for the military draft and fight if needed, these requirements have never been applied to American women. Where they have fought, they have done so freely.”
Click here for a full list of signers.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Chairman Reed,
We write in opposition to any attempt to use the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to force American women to register for the military draft.
Women have served in and alongside the Armed Forces since our nation’s founding. Time and again, they have answered the call of duty and served honorably – often heroically – when our nation needed them. But they have done so of their own will. While American men are required to register for the military draft and fight if needed, these requirements have never been applied to American women. Where they have fought, they have done so freely.
This approach has served our nation well, and it retains broad bipartisan support. Indeed, a majority of American women oppose changing it. Yet that is exactly what the Biden administration and its Congressional allies tried to do last year by inserting language in the Senate and House versions of the FY22 NDAA to require American women to register for the military draft.
Many of our constituents were shocked and concerned when they learned of these efforts to send American women to war against their will, and they asked us to do everything in our power to prevent the new requirement from becoming law. Fortunately, their advocacy paid off. The final version of the FY22 NDAA did not require American women to register for the military draft.
We were pleased with that outcome, but we also believe it never should have gotten that far in the first place. This in mind, as we begin the FY23 NDAA process, we urge you in the strongest possible terms not to use this year’s NDAA to try to force America’s women to register for the military draft. Reviving these efforts would be a grave mistake and would needlessly inject divisive social policies into important debates over our national security.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.