Mike Pence’s group urges GOP against NDAA measure to include women in future draft

FIRST ON FOX: Former Vice President Mike Pence’s organization is urging Republican congressional leaders to prevent a provision from moving forward in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require women to sign up for a potential military draft. 

“The notion of the United States of America requiring women to register to fight our wars is simply untenable and must be opposed at all costs,” Advancing American Freedom (AAF) Executive Director Paul Teller wrote in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on Wednesday.

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The Senate version of the NDAA advanced out of the Senate Committee on Armed Services last week, including an amendment that would expand selective service registration requirements to include women. 

“There is simply no good reason to require women to register for the draft absent the complete rejection of logic and defiance of common sense,” Teller said. 

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“We oppose this move in the strongest possible terms and urge you and all Republicans to oppose any legislation that results in young women registering with the Selective Service for a possible future draft,” the letter continued. 

The correspondence was signed by more than 40 other conservative organizations and leaders, including Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America; Terry Schilling, president of the American Principles Project; and Gary Bauer, president of American Values, among others. 

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Military members walking at Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition

The controversial provision was not included in the version of the NDAA that passed the Republican-led House last week. That bill, which is unlikely to be brought up in the Senate, would automatically register men aged 18 to 26 for the draft.

A spokesperson for Johnson told Fox News Digital he does not support the provision to include women being in the eventual compromise bill between the House and Senate. 

Some Senate Republicans pushed back at the amendment’s inclusion in the fiscal year 2025 NDAA, with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., writing on X, “Why are the politicians forcing women into the draft? Because Democrats want to eliminate gender completely & turn the military into a social experiment.”

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Sen. Josh Hawley

“And some Republicans want to draft everybody they can to fight all these wars. Here’s my answer to both: NO,” he added. 

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, made his own disagreement clear last week, posting on X that the provision would only get through “over my dead body.”

McConnell’s office did not immediately provide comment to Fox News Digital. 

Mitch McConnell

However, the Senate Republican leader may disagree with AAF and Johnson on the matter, having previously voiced support for expanding selective service registration to include women. 

“I personally think it would be appropriate for [women] to register just like men do,” McConnell said in 2016, as reported by the New York Times. 

“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,” he explained at the time. 

Explaining his stance, he noted that women are now “performing virtually all kinds of functions” in the military. 

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