Republicans Split in Senate Battle Over Drafting Women

Amid Tense Debate, Sen. Cornyn Urges Vote Put 'On Hold'

by Jason Ditz, May 22, 2016

The House of Representatives has removed language from the 2017 military spending bill requiring women to register for the draft, but the battle over the issue continues, with intense debate ongoing over the Draft America’s Daughters Act.

While most of the Democrat leadership appears supportive of the measure, Republicans are deeply split on the issue, and even moreso in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) is leading the pro-draft camp, Sens. Ted Cruz (R – TX) and Mike Lee (R – UT) are against, and Sen. John Cornyn (R – TX) is urging both sides to just put the matter on hold and drop the debate on the touchy subject.

The Pentagon’s leadership has expressed support for expanding the registration to include women, though they likewise insist they oppose the military draft in general, preferring an all-volunteer system. Many of the pro-draft crowd in the Senate are arguing that they should do what the military wants, with Sen. Lindsey Graham insisting not adding women to the draft rolls means “taking half of the population off the table.”

Others are arguing that expanding the registration is “only fair,” though at least in the House there has been a backlash, with some bipartisan support for an alternative idea of eliminating the draft registration system entirely as even more fair, and far cheaper, alternative.

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