EQUAL RIGHTS

GOP Blocks Requirement for Women to Register for Draft

Under pressure from conservatives, House Republicans dropped a measure from the defense policy bill that would have required women to register for the draft. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the House Rules Committee, said Tuesday he is "adamantly opposed to coercing America's daughters to sign up for the Selective Service at 18 years of age," but appreciates those who volunteer to serve the country. Rep. Steny Hoter (D-Maryland), meanwhile, said the move was a Republican effort to make sure its members were not forced to "vote on equality for women, and they ought to." The showdown is due to continue, as a Senate version of the bill contains a similar provision requiring women to register for the Selective Service.