Provision to require women to register for draft deleted

Women in Combat
In this photo taken on April 26, 2015, one of the 20 female soldiers, who is among the 400 students who qualified to start Ranger School, tackles the Darby Queen obstacle course, one of the toughest obstacle courses in U.S. Army training, at Fort Benning, in Ga. Two women have now passed the U.S. Army's grueling Ranger test, and even tougher and more dangerous jobs could lie ahead. The military services are poised to allow women to serve in most front-line combat jobs, including special operations forces, senior officials told The Associated Press. (Robin Trimarchi/Ledger-Enquirer via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is decrying a Republican move stripping a provision from the annual defense policy bill that would have required women to register for a military draft.

In a statement Tuesday, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state says the GOP-led House Rules Committee acted in the “dead of night” on Monday to take the measure out of the bill.

The House Armed Services Committee voted 32-30 last month to include the provision in the authorization bill. Six Republicans voted in favor of the measure.

Smith says the committee’s action effectively bars the full House from voting on the contentious provision.

Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, the Rules Committee chairman, says he’s opposed to “coercing America’s daughters to sign up” for a potential draft.

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