Five Senators Join Hawley Amendment This Week to Remove NDAA Provision that Forces Women to Register for Military Draft

Friday, November 05, 2021

Five Senators have signed on to a new amendment led by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (Mo.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would remove a provision currently in the bill that requires women to register for the Selective Service System.

U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (Tex.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.), and Roger Marshall (Kan.) cosponsored Senator Hawley’s amendment this week. Should this year’s NDAA pass without it and the U.S. government initiates a military draft in the future, women would be forced to register.

Sen. Cruz said, “America’s military is a volunteer force made up of service members who decided for themselves to take the oath. My daughters know that they’re capable of achieving anything they set their minds to, but the idea that our government would force women into service through the draft to fight our nation’s wars is immoral and outrageous.”

“Our military has welcomed women for decades and is stronger for it. But America’s daughters should never be drafted against their will,” Sen. Cotton said. 

“I have great admiration for the women who serve in our Armed Forces, and every opportunity to serve should be available to women,” said Sen. Hyde-Smith. “I do not, however, see any compelling reason to expand the Selective Service System.”

“I applaud the women who volunteer to serve in the military and who sacrifice every day for our country’s freedom, but to compel their service by law is wrong,” Sen. Wicker said. “I along with millions of other Americans cannot support the idea that our daughters and granddaughters would be forced to fight in our next military conflict against their will.”

Sen. Hawley said, “It is wrong to force our daughters, mothers, wives, and sisters to fight our wars. Our country is extremely grateful for the brave women who have volunteered to serve our country with and alongside our fighting forces. They have played a vital role in defending America at every point in our nation’s history. But volunteering for military service is not the same as being forced into it, and no woman should be compelled to do so.”

In July, Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate Democrats’ proposal requiring women to register for the draft when the issue came before the Senate Armed Services Committee.