McConnell: 'I Suppose' Women Should Be Required to Register With Selective Service

By Susan Jones | May 18, 2016 | 7:20am EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., with, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

( - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he does't anticipate "going back to the draft," but nevertheless, he thinks "it would be appropriate" for young women to register with the Selective Service.

A reporter asked McConnell on Tuesday if he anticipates a separate Senate vote on an amendment requiring women to register for the draft. The amendment is attached to the Senate's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

"Do I expect what on NDAA?" McConnell responded. He said he was having a hard time hearing.

"A separate vote on whether women should be required to register for the draft?" the reporter repeated.

"Oh, well, I don't know. I mean, it will be open for amendment," McConnell said.

"And how do you feel about that?" the reporter followed up.

"My personal view is, given where we are today, I don't anticipate a draft, but if you're talking about registering for the Selective Service system, I think since women are serving in the military, they should be eligible to be in Selective Service themselves. That's my view."

Should women be "required to register?" the reporter asked.

"I'm not sure. Required, I suppose. We'll see. What's in the bill? Required?" the Senate leader asked.

"Look, first of all, I don't anticipate going back to the draft. The professional voluntary Army has been very successful. We're talking here about registration for Selective Service, should we ever go back to a draft.

"And given where we are today, with women in the military performing virtually all kinds of functions, I personally think it would be appropriate for them to register just like men do."

The Republican-led House Rules Committee on Tuesday dropped an amendment to the House version of the NDAA that would have required women to register with Selective Service the same way men must do. But the Senate legislation includes a similar amendment, so the issue is not settled.

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