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Remove “Draft Our Daughters” Mandate from National Defense Bill

The “Draft Our Daughters” amendment, which was sponsored by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, passed 35-24 during the House Armed Services Committee markup on September 1.

Andy Kim (D-NJ) voted No, but Republicans Liz Cheney (MT), Mike Waltz (FL), Jack Bergman (MI), Pat Fallon (TX), and Scott Franklin (FL) voted Yes for a total of 35-Yes, 24-No in the HASC. On July 22, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) reportedly voted to change the words “male citizens” in the Selective Service law to “all Americans.” Republicans who voted for the amendment, sponsored by SASC Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI), included Senators Deb Fischer (NE), Joni Ernst (IA), Thom Tillis (NC), Dan Sullivan (AK), Kevin Cramer (ND), Rick Scott (FL), Tommy Tuberville (AL), and Marsha Blackburn (TN).

We join Center for Military Readiness President Elaine Donnelly in asking why otherwise conservative lawmakers voted to “Draft Our Daughters.”

An amendment to strike the Houlahan amendment could be offered for approval by the Rules Committee, but as of CHQ’s deadline it was unclear if the Rules Committee would allow the amendment on the Floor for a vote. Conservatives should demand Republicans support such an effort.

Legislation such as this has always been a bad idea, said Elaine Donnelly, but a key section of the Houlahan amendment, which has received almost no public awareness or debate, also would change the purpose of Selective service. This blank check amendment would greatly expand Big Government power, at a time when the Biden Administration already is exceeding its authority.

The fact that such a radical, unjustified change is being made without hearings, public debate, or informed national discussion is unconscionable.


Its purpose is military readiness, not “equity” between the sexes. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of this limited purpose, which the Houlahan amendment would acknowledge for the first time by summarily erasing it.


Even with the new language, however, nothing would preclude a draft to conscript equal numbers of minimally qualified men and women to fight in combat in a future war. Persons in the Selective Service pool would be sent to units where the need is greatest, such as the infantry.

As CMR has explained previously, inclusion of women for purposes of “equity” would jam the induction system and slow mobilization due to physical differences that are not going to change. The predictable clash between egalitarian theories and harsh physical realities could cost lives and weaken national defense at the worst possible time.


More complications could ensue because, as we have seen over the last 18 months, “national emergency” is an ill-defined, elastic term. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley, for example, already have redefined the needs of the Department of Defense to include “climate change.” In addition, all branches of the service are pursuing racial and gender quotas in pursuit of “Diversity as a strategic imperative.”


Secretary Austin began his term in office by ordering military-wide stand-downs to obsess about “extremism” in the ranks with a “woke” bias against non-minorities. And General Milley has vigorously defended divisive and demoralizing “critical race theory” (CRT) instruction programs in all branches of the service.

The Houlahan language is so broad, unelected, faceless Pentagon bureaucrats could cite it to pursue more social justice warrior agendas and to establish vast data bases collecting all sorts of personal and private information from young men and women between the ages of 18 and 26, nationwide, on a mandatory basis.

The Houlahan language did not emerge out of the blue; it is only the first part of an ambitious Big Government National Service agenda. It repeats word-for-word Section 401 (Title IV) of the grandiose “Inspire to Serve Act,” which the $45 million, three-year National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service set forth in its 2020 Final Report.

In a 388-page Legislative Annex, the National Commission proposed that the purpose of Selective Service be changed to something other than “combat replacements” –– the phrase used in a U.S. Senate report that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional in its 1981 Rostker v. Goldberg landmark decision.

Such a change would be an incremental, possibly irreversible step in the direction of Universal National Service. This is not about freely chosen volunteer activities in one’s own community.


Do Americans want their young men and women to be conscripted for wide-open, undefined “emergency” purposes such as this? We don’t know because Congress is about to pass a monumental change with no thought given to what the blank check would cost America in terms of personal freedom and a strong national defense.


Click here for the full CMR report.


It is imperative conservatives stand against this outrageous attempt to sneak our daughters onto the front lines or to enroll all Americans of a certain age into government-directed labor. The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), tell your Senators and Representatives to vote YES to strike the Houlahan “Draft Our Daughters” language from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and NO on the passage of the NDAA if the Houlahan language remains in the bill.


  • Draft Our Daughters amendment

  • National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

  • Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

  • House Armed Services Committee

  • Center for Military Readiness President Elaine Donnelly

  • Rules Committee

  • Selective Service

  • Equity

  • Physical differences

  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

  • Joint Chiefs

  • Chairman General Mark Milley

  • Woke culture

  • Section 401 (Title IV) of the Inspire to Serve Act

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