Senate: Women Must Register for Draft

Whether it will survive negotiations with House is unclear
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2016 4:03 AM CDT
Senate: Women Must Register for Draft
In this 2012 file photo, female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, train on a firing range in Fort Campbell, Ky.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

The House and Senate will soon begin wrangling over their versions of the annual defense bill, and one component in particular is generating lots of heat: whether young women must register for the military draft. The Senate bill that passed on Tuesday requires them to do so, but the House bill passed earlier does not, reports the New York Times. Which side will prevail when the final version emerges is anyone's guess at this point, reports The Senate measure would require women who turn 18 starting on Jan. 1, 2018, to sign up for the draft, which hasn't actually been used since 1973.

Two competing quotes:

  • Ted Cruz: “I am the father of two daughters. Women can do anything they put their minds to ... but the idea that we should forcibly conscript young girls into combat to my mind makes little to no sense. I could not vote for a bill that did so, particularly a bill that did so without public debate."
  • John McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee: “Every uniform leader of the United States military seemed to have a different opinion from the senator from Texas whose military background is not extensive," he said, per Politico. "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.”
(More military draft stories.)

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