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Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for Draft; Conservatives Fight

Image: Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for Draft; Conservatives Fight
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By    |   Thursday, 16 Jun 2016 12:53 PM

Senate conservatives are mounting a battle against a provision quietly included in the National Defense Authorization Act that requires women to register for the military draft for the first time in U.S. history.

The female draft provision got inserted into the massive bill — which the Senate overwhelmingly approved Tuesday — through committee rather than in public debate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz complains, Military.com reports.

"The idea that we should forcibly conscript young girls in combat to my mind makes little or no sense," he argued. "It is at minimum a radical proposition. I could not vote for a bill that did so without public debate."

U.S. law requires most male citizens and immigrants between the ages of 18 to 25 to register in the selective service system. The Senate NDAA would require all female citizens and U.S. residents who turn 18 on or after Jan. 1, 2018, to register as well, the website notes.

"Wisdom should be nudging us to try to avoid unnecessary fighting," Nebraska GOP Sen. Ben Sasse, who opposed the NDAA, argues.

"Why are we now fighting about drafting our sisters and our mothers and our daughters into a draft that no one anywhere is telling us that they need?" he added.

The House and Senate have to reconcile their versions of the NDAA in conference before final passage — and conservatives see some hope in extracting the female draft language there, The Washington Post reports.

"In conference, I will be supporting the stronger House language on [Guantanamo Bay, Cuba] and working to remove unnecessary Senate language requiring women to register for the draft," Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Inhofe, a senior member of the Armed Services Committee pledged, according to the Post.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Senate conservatives are mounting a battle against a provision quietly included in the National Defense Authorization Act that requires women to register for the military draft for the first time in U.S. history.
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Thursday, 16 Jun 2016 12:53 PM
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