The Latest: Panel rejects bid to add women to military draft

The Latest on deliberations by the House and Senate Armed Services committees over the 2018 defense budget (all times local):

6:42 p.m.

The House Armed Services Committee has rejected a bid to require women between the ages of 18 and 26 to register for a military draft.

An amendment to the annual defense policy bill crafted by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would have ordered women to sign up with the Selective Service within 30 days of turning 18 — just as men are.

Committee members voted largely along party lines to shoot down the amendment, 33-28.

The panel last year approved a measure to make the draft gender neutral but it was later dropped and never became law.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, the committee chairman, says Speier's amendment jumped the gun. He says there is a commission examining whether the Selective Service is even necessary and Congress should wait until the study is finished before deciding to expand the draft.


4:30 p.m.

The Republican-led House Armed Services Committee has approved a measure declaring climate change "a direct threat to national security."

But the measure, crafted by Rep. Jim Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat, won GOP backing because it only requires the Pentagon to deliver a report to Congress that assesses the impact of global warming on the U.S. military.

The report would list the 10 military bases most vulnerable to the effects of rising oceans, increased flooding, wildfires and other effects.

Lawmakers voted to include Langevin's amendment in the annual defense policy bill that still has to be considered by the full House.

Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, opposed the measure. She says there are much more serious threats facing the country.

But Rep. Madeleine Bordallo of Guam, which is home to a U.S. naval base, says: "I certainly wouldn't want Guam to disappear."


1:12 p.m.

Two House Democrats want to require the Air Force to detail how much has been spent on trips President Donald Trump has made to his Florida estate and other properties that he and his family own.

Arizona Reps. Tom O'Halleran and Ruben Gallego plan to introduce an amendment Wednesday to the annual defense policy bill that would require the Air Force to regularly submit presidential travel expense reports to Congress. Each report would include "costs incurred" for travel to a property owned or operated by Trump or his immediate family.

As president, Trump flies on Air Force One. He's accompanied by staff members and military aides.

The Armed Services Committee was crafting the defense bill Wednesday. The president visited Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort, on seven weekends this winter.