Commission: No conclusion about whether women should be drafted

The commission is about halfway through its task of evaluating whether women should be forced to register for the draft. File Photo by Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA

Jan. 24 (UPI) — A commission formed by Congress three years ago came to no conclusion about whether women should be forced to register for the draft, a report released Wednesday indicated.

National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service presented its interim findings during a news conference at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The panel is about halfway through its evaluation of the Selective Service System, which requires 18-year-old men to register.

The commission said it was still considering whether to add women to the Selective Service, but it was not ready to make a determination at this time.

“Personally, I don’t think we will remain with the status quo,” commission Chairman Joe Heck said. “But where we end up on the spectrum is yet to be determined.”

Congress created the commission in 2016 after the Senate passed a $602 billion defense bill that would make it compulsory for young women to be available for Selective Service. The vote was 85-13, but some Republicans vehemently opposed the draft amendment. The House did not approve the measure.

Months later, the Obama White House expressed its support for requiring women to register for the draft.

“The act of draft registration has long served as a powerful reminder to our nation’s youth that public service is a valued part of American citizenship,” Ned Price, former spokesman for the National Security Council, said in a statement. “And as old barriers for military service are being removed, the administration supports — as a logical next step — women registering for the Selective Service.”

The commission also was tasked with determining how to get more people to participate in public service, including volunteering and the Peace Corps.


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