Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy expressed his displeasure with women being included in a potential military draft Monday while appearing on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
The $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was easily approved in the House with 135 Republicans joining 181 Democrats in a vote of 316-113. A provision included in the NDAA would require all women to register for the draft at 18, just as men do.
“My wife told me if I supported it she’d campaign against me,” Roy joked to the Fox News host. The lawmaker argued that in extending the draft requirement to women, Congress is ignoring a $36 million dollar study from 2015 that found all-male units outperformed mixed gender units across the board. “Yet now we have your Congress [putting] women into combat.” He went on to clarify that he was not talking about denying women a chance to volunteer for service, but rather his concern that now, despite these studies, all women would be forced to sign up for service.
Roy also voiced his concern with two red-flag provisions included in this bill, as did Republican Rep. Greg Murphy of North Carolina.
“I am outraged that House Democrats are once again trying to conceal unconstitutional red flag laws in the NDAA that could be used to unjustly deprive American servicemembers of their Second Amendment rights,” Murphy said in a statement. “Our national defense bill is a key component of ensuring that our Armed Forces and their families have the resources they need, and it is reprehensible that Democrats are trying to use the NDAA to subvert our veterans’ right to possess a firearm.”
Roy also expressed his concern regarding components of the bill that would fund hotly debated issues like critical race theory training for military personnel. The House Freedom Caucus urged GOP members to vote against the defense authorization in a statement, according to CNN.
“This administration’s political posturing puts priorities like funding critical race theory for our service members and forcing our daughters to sign up for the draft ahead of ensuring our military has the resources to put the safety and security of America first,” the caucus said.
The Senate will need to pass its own version of the bill, and then the two chambers will iron out the differences in the coming months at a conference committee.