House Defense Bill Stripped of Draft Mandate For Women

Alissa Lopez | July 8, 2016

On Thursday, the House voted 217 to 203 to approve an amendment to the 2017 Nation Defense Authorization Act that would exclude women from having to register for the draft.

To be specific, 215 Republican representatives voted for the defense bills adjustment, while only 24 voted against it. Only to Democrats supported the bill, while 179 voted against it.

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), an army veteran, proposed the revision, which would forbid funding from being used to alter the Selective Service registration requirement.

In an 85-13 vote, the Senate last month passed their own version of the NDAA which included the provision that mandates women  register for the draft. The measure received immense criticism from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who originally proposed that section of the bill be removed.

MRCTV reported at the time:

Lee stated last month [May] that, “Forcing women to register for the draft would be a sea change not only for our Armed Services but culturally as well.” 

“I simply have not seen enough research from the Department of Defense on why this is needed or how it would work.”

The Free Beacon shared a similar sentiment from Sen. Tom Cotton at the time:

“I think it’s a reasonable question whether we should require women to sign up for it and potentially be put in roles like infantry against their wishes. It’s one thing for our military to say we’re going to open these roles to women, it’s another thing to say women may be required to serve [in those roles]…”

This adjustment to the Selective Service is controversial among civilians as well. A YouGov poll released in June questioned 1,000 Americans about women serving in the military. Only 46 percent of women polled said they believed that women should be drafted alongside men.