Women will have to register with the Selective Service and would be eligible to be drafted in the military, under a provision narrowly approved by a House panel on Wednesday, according to Navy Times.
The proposal passed the House Armed Services Committee without support from its sponsor, Iraq War veteran Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who introduced the measure as a way to force congressional conversation about the role of women in the military.
But several Republicans broke ranks with their committee counterparts to support the idea of drafting women for military service, until now a possibility solely reserved for men.
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Irritated by the Pentagon's failure to establish rules authorizing more military personnel to carry personal firearms while on duty, House lawmakers have threatened to withhold funding if the Defense Department doesn't finalize a plan soon, the Navy Times is reporting.
On Wednesday, members of the House Armed Services Committee added language to their draft of the annual defense authorization bill that would withhold 15 percent of the defense secretary’s policy funding if the firearms policy isn’t finalized by the end of this year. Lawmakers also want to ease background-check requirements for military spouses who move across state lines for a permanent change of station.
Both proposals were introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who called them matters of basic safety and fairness for troops looking to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Service members whose spouses give birth would get at least 14 days leave and dual military couples who adopt a child would both get two weeks off under House proposals approved as part of the annual defense authorization bill Wednesday, according to Military Times.
But lawmakers rejected a more generous plan that would have extended a full 12 weeks of family leave to both parents welcoming the arrival of a new child, a proposal billed by advocates as an issue of fairness for gay couples and wounded troops who can’t bear biological children.
Earlier this year, Pentagon officials announced plans to extend 12 weeks of fully paid maternity leave for all female service members who have a child.
But the offer does not extend to adoptive parents, who face an array of different leave policies and restrictions. And it did not affect the 10 days of paternity leave offered to the spouses of those female troops.
A wave of nighttime airstrikes hit a hospital in Syria supported by Doctors Without Borders and nearby buildings in the rebel-held part of the contested city of Aleppo, killing at least 27 people as the U.N. envoy for Syria appealed early Thursday on the U.S. and Russia to help revive the peace talks and a cease-fire, which he said "hangs by a thread," according to Military.com.
Six hospital staff and three children were also among the casualties. The strikes, shortly before midnight Wednesday, hit the well-known al-Quds field hospital in the rebel-held district of Sukkari in Aleppo, according to opposition activists and rescue workers.
The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Mohammed Alloush blamed the government of President Bashar Assad for the deadly airstrikes. He told The Associated Press that the latest violence by government forces shows "the environment is not conducive to any political action."