WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Angus King (I-ME) told Latino Rebels on Monday afternoon that a proposal by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) requiring all Americans, including women, to register for the military draft will be debated “over the next couple of days” in the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act.
It would amend a current law that states that only U.S. men are required to register for potential military conscription when they turn 18 years old.
“I think we should make it a voluntary thing,” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said when asked by Latino Rebels about the Senate Democrats’ proposal.
The National Defense Authorization Act provides authorization for appropriations and establishes policies for Department of Defense programs and activities, including personnel.
“I’ve been supporting [requiring women to register for the military draft] since I introduced my bill on the Universal Service Act,” Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) told Latino Rebels. “Do your homework.”
The proposal is meant for women and men to bear equal obligations as citizens.
“I have not read what leader Reed is working on, but I do support equality with the treatment of men and women with job opportunities and responsibilities that we have with our armed forces,” Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) told Latino Rebels.
“I also support what Senator [Kirsten] Gillibrand has been laying out with making sure there is real, meaningful policy that gets to the bottom of sexual abuse and harassment, and that is something Congress should be taking up as well,” Luján added.
Attention to sexual abuse and harassment in the military gained more national attention last year when Vanessa Guillén was found dead near Fort Hood.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Alex Padilla (D-CA) told Latino Rebels that they had yet to see Senator Reed’s proposal.
When questioned on whether he would support the bill, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “Let me think on it.”
Only one percent of Americans served in the military during the past 20 years, despite the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and U.S. military deployments around the world.
Pablo Manríquez is Latino Rebels’ Washington correspondent. He is an immigrant from Santiago de Chile with a political science degree from the University of Notre Dame. The Washington Post calls him “an Internet folk hero.” Twitter: @PabloReports.