The annual defense bill will no longer include a provision that would open the draft up to women, despite gaining bipartisan support in both chambers.
The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have stripped the provision out of the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
HURDLES REMAIN BEFORE ANNUAL DEFENSE FUNDING BILL GETS PASSED
The move, which was first reported by Politico on Monday, was celebrated by some conservatives who had advocated against the amendment.
Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican who introduced an amendment last month that would have stripped the draft expansion from the NDAA, praised the committee’s decision.
“It appears the NDAA will no longer require women to register for the military draft. I certainly hope that is the case,” he said in a statement. “If it is not, then I will keep fighting for a vote on the Senate floor to strip this wrong and misguided provision out of the final bill.”
Florida Republican Rep. Michael Waltz, a veteran, previously told Politico, "If it's so grave that we have to go to a draft, we need everybody. We need man, woman, gay, straight, any religion, black, white, brown. We need everybody, all hands on deck."
The source familiar with the negotiations also told the Washington Examiner that a provision that would have created the Office of Countering Extremism within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness was removed from the final version. The removal of this amendment was first reported by Breitbart.
The office would have furthered the Biden administration’s goal of rooting out extremism in the military.
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Democrats and Republicans in both chambers are trying to hammer out the details of the must-pass legislation before the end of the year. Senate Republicans have accused Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of waiting too long to bring up the bill, and they have held up the process by demanding that additional amendments get debated and voted upon before its final passage.
With the need for the legislation to pass, Republicans have forced Schumer back to the negotiating table, where provisions such as these were removed in an effort to get the bill through Capitol Hill.