(CNSNews.com) – At his weekly briefing with reporters on Tuesday at the Capitol, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that women should be “treated equally” when it comes to being required to register with the Selective Service.
“Women ought to be treated equally,” Hoyer said.
Current law requires men between the ages of 18 and 25 to register with the Selective Service to serve as a pool for the U.S. military should a draft become necessary. Since Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in December that all combat roles would be open to females beginning in January, discussion has been sparked about whether women should be required to register with the Selective Service.
In discussing the House’s upcoming consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Hoyer was asked about women and the Selective Service.
“Women ought to be treated equally,” Hoyer said. “And I think if you’re going to have Selective Service registration continue and you’re going to have women available to serve in the Armed Forces in either front line capacity or support capacity or both – which I think is now the case legally – then I think it makes sense to have eligible individuals – male or female – register as long as you have registration.
“Now whether it makes sense to continue that when the likelihood of a draft seems pretty small at this point in time, but one never knows,” Hoyer said. “Internationally, we are in a very unstable context, and therefore, it may well make sense to continue to have a pool available – a large pool available -- in the event that we need to in a very rapid order ramp up the numbers of folks in the Armed Forces.”