On Tuesday, the Senate voted to pass a large defense bill that included a requirement to require women that turn 18 years old to register for the draft just as men are required. This is part of the push for equality. Women want to be treated equal as men in the military and now that combat roles are open to women this is the latest move to provide equality.
The Senate passed the bill, the National Defense Authorization Act in a overwhelming fashion, 85-13. Some Republican leaders voted against the bill because women would have to register for the draft.
“The idea that we should forcibly conscript young girls into combat, to my mind, makes little or no sense,” Senator Ted Cruz said about the bill.
The draft has not been used since 1973 during the Vietnam War. The evolving role of women in the armed services, including women now serving in combat roles, caused the shift.
Because of the bill, women that turn 18 on or after January 1, 2018 will be forced to register for the draft or they will have federal aid taken away from them.
The bill overall authorizes, $602 billion in defense spending for 2017.
Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, supported the inclusion of women registering for the draft. “After months of rigorous oversight, a large bipartisan majority on the Armed Services Committee agreed that there is simply no further justification to limit Selective Service registration to men,” McCain said on the Senate floor.
Senator Mike Lee proposed an amendment to get rid of the provision allowing women to register for the draft. A similar effort was rejected by the Armed Services Committee earlier. Ted Cruz co-sponsored Mike Lee’s amendment, but they declined to offer it.
The policy change has support, but was not included in that House’s version of the bill.
The Senate and the House are expected to have a heated debate on the two bills.