For the first time in History, women may soon be required to register for the military draft or selective service. The bill was strongly opposed by some Republican senators, but the $602 billion defense bill was passed with overwhelming support Tuesday with a vote of 85-13.
The Selective Service system is used to maintain contact information for young males, American citizens and immigrants, between the ages of 18 to 25, to furnish the Department of Defense enough manpower should a national emergency arise. Now women will be required to do the same. The current draft system began in 1948 but proved greatly unpopular during the Vietnam War.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is passionately against such a measure while Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, feels that it is fair now that all military roles have been opened to women. This should come as no surprise due to Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s announcement this past December that the Department of Defense would lift all gender-based bans and open all military occupations, to include combat jobs, to women.
The National Defense Authorization Act still has to pass a process through the House and the White House has threatened to veto it due to other provisions included in the bill. However, at this time, due to the number of Senators who support the bill, a veto could be overridden.