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House Freedom Caucus presses GOP to oppose defense bill over including women in the draft

The House Republican Conference on Monday signaled support for the measure, which funds the armed forces, service members' payroll and veteran health care.
Image: House Freedom Caucus, Louie Gohmert
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, alongside members of the House Freedom Caucus, speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 31.Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images file

Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus on Wednesday called on their party to oppose the National Defense Authorization Act because of an amendment in the bill that would allow the registration of women for the Selective Service System.

"Right now if you are voting for the NDAA, you’re voting to draft our daughters," Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told reporters during a news conference Wednesday. "There is no other position you can take."

The House Republican Conference signaled its support for the NDAA, the annual defense policy and funding bill, in a memo Monday. The amendment to include women in the Selective Service System was introduced by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., earlier this month and passed through a committee with bipartisan support.

House Freedom Caucus members said they wanted to sound the alarm on the provision because they do not trust the current administration and military leadership after the crisis that unfolded in the Afghanistan withdrawal.

"The Democrats and, sadly, some Republicans want to draft your daughters. This is wrong, and it's immoral, and they are doing it anyway," Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., said. "We are proud of the courageous women who have served and are serving in our military in defending our nation, but our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters should not be part of this draft. This is left-wing, woke agenda gone too far."

“The vote is tomorrow, and the swamp wants to pass the bill,” she added.

Women currentlymake up 16 percent of the nation’s armed forces, serving in every branch of the U.S. military.

The $768 billion defense bill funds the branches of the armed forces, service members' payroll and veteran health care, among other areas of the military.

CORRECTION (Sept. 23, 2021, 12:13 p.m. ET): A previous version of this story misstated Rep. Chrissy Houlahan’s party affiliation. She is a Democrat, not a Republican.