The House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act, and one of its amendments would require women to register for the draft.
Lawmakers on the committee voted 35-24 in favor of Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Chrissy Houlahan's amendment to expand the draft during Wednesday's 16-hour markup session.
"It's past time," Houlahan, an Air Force veteran, said. "Women make up over 50% of our population, and not including them in the Selective Service is not only a disservice to these women, but also to our nation as a whole."
The NDAA bill passed a committee vote early Thursday morning by an overwhelming margin, 57-2. If the provision remains in the bill and it passes, it could become law. The Senate passed its own version of the NDAA and included an amendment to expand the draft, as well.
Current law requires men to register for the Selective Service when they turn 18 years old.
"If it's so grave that we have to go to a draft, we need everybody," Florida Republican Rep. Michael Waltz, a veteran, said, according to Politico. "We need man, woman, gay, straight, any religion, black, white, brown. We need everybody, all hands on deck."
The committee voted to increase the military's 2022 budget by nearly $25 billion more than what President Joe Biden had sought previously during Wednesday's markup session. Fourteen committee Democrats joined the Republicans to approve the additional funding, though some Democrats had argued against the bump.
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