Today the Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act with a vote of 85-13. This bill funds the Department of Defense and requires women to register for the draft beginning in 2018. Overall Republicans supported the bill by 48 to 6 but several conservative Republicans voted against the bill including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). From Politico.com,
“It is a radical change that is attempting to be foisted on the American people,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. “The idea that we should forcibly conscript young girls into combat, to my mind, makes little or no sense. It is at a minimum a radical proposition. I could not vote for a bill that did so, particularly that did so without public debate.”
However the Senate Armed Services Committee chair, John McCain (R-Arizona), supported women registering for the draft,
“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,” McCain said on the floor. “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.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) also opposed the drafting of women. He proposed an amendment to the defense bill to exclude women from registering for the draft but it didn’t receive the votes.
The President has threatened to veto the bill but the Senate has the votes to override the veto.
Much more on the bill here.