By: Konrad Holden
Last Wednesday, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was approved for floor debate by a vote of 84-15 in the Senate. The NDAA currently includes a clause that would mandate that women register for the selective service. Currently, only men ages 18-26 are required to register for the selective service, though the US hasn’t drafted anyone into the military since the 70s. The bill will continue to be debated after the Thanksgiving holiday.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law by the President every year. The NDAA is Congress’ instructions to national defense agencies on how to spend their budgets. It also sets policy for the military.
Right now, the NDAA has passed the House and is currently being debated on the Senate floor. This year it includes a controversial policy that is unpopular with most Americans: a female military draft.
Currently, only men ages 18-26 are required to register for the selective service. If the NDAA is passed in its current state, women would be required to join them.
The policy has received support from far-left Democrats and many moderate Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) supports the policy.
Many Democrats believe women should be eligible for the draft as well.
Some Republican senators are pushing back against the policy including Ted Cruz (Texas), Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Josh Hawley (Missouri), and Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee).
“I’m the father of two daughters. The idea that the government would forcibly draft them, and put them in a place where they would be engaged in combat against a man who the statistics demonstrate is likely to have significantly more body mass and significantly more body strength? That’s not fair.” - Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)