Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) did something a little unorthodox for lawmakers Wednesday. During a House Armed Services Committee hearing, he offered an amendment he didn’t actually want to support.
The amendment required women register for the draft.
“I regretfully introduce this amendment,” Hunter said, noting later he might not vote for it. “My daughters talk about serving. My son talks about serving, but I don’t want to put my daughters in a place where they have to get drafted.”
Hunter is deeply opposed to women in combat. Earlier this year he said the efforts of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to open up Marine combat positions for women made him a “a greater threat to the Marine Corps than ISIS.” Hunter seemed to want to use his amendment on drafting women to force the issue, hoping other lawmakers would finally see the light.
And so it fell to Hunter to highlight just how gruesome the draft would be for women.
“The draft is there to get more people to rip the enemies’ throats out and kill them…That is what a draft is for,” Hunter said.
Unfortunately for Hunter, a lot of Members on the committee thought requiring women to sign up for the draft was a pretty good step forward on the equality front. The amendment passed 32 to 30. There are currently 12 women serving on the committee.
“While you may be offering this as a gotcha amendment,” Rep. Jackie Spier (D-CA) said. “I would suggest that there is great merit in recognizing that each of us have an obligation to be willing to serve our country in time of war.”
Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) said “gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights, the same opportunities and the same obligations across all sectors of society and that includes military service.”
Hunter appeared to be frustrated at some points with the direction of the discussion so he tried even harder to emphasize just how miserable the draft would be for women.
“This is about a big war,” Hunter said. “This is about when something really really bad happens and goes wrong and America has to mobilize as a nation.”
Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) seemed worried that Hunter was going a bit off the rails in the discussion. She tried to emphasize how the draft was not really just for combat and the front lines.
“I do want to correct my colleague from California as he painted the pictures that the only reason for the draft is to go into front line combat. That is not true. We all know many people who were drafted in World War II, Korea, Vietnam who served in other positions, not the infantry,” McSally said. “We don’t need to turn this into an emotional discussion. We want to make it be fact based.”
You can watch the whole thing below: