1-2-3-4, Send those ladies off to war. Senate approves language adding women to Selective Service registration.

From politico, the Senate has approved the latest defense bill with a twist – it finally adds women to the selective service registration requirement:

The Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping defense policy bill that includes among its many Pentagon reforms a provision requiring women to register for the draft.
The Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act 85-13, but some Republicans voted against it because it contained the requirement to register women with the Selective Service System. The proposal was not considered on the Senate floor, since it was included in the bill that emerged from the Armed Services Committee.

But the issue loomed large over the final vote. Heritage Action, the conservative advocacy arm of The Heritage Foundation, deemed the defense policy bill a “key vote” that would count on its annual lawmaker scorecards because of the draft language.

“It is a radical change that is attempting to be foisted on the American people,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. “The idea that we should forcibly conscript young girls into combat, to my mind, makes little or no sense. It is at a minimum a radical proposition. I could not vote for a bill that did so, particularly that did so without public debate.”

In all, Republicans voted 48-6 on the bill, which authorizes $602 billion in defense spending for the new 2017 fiscal year. Democrats voted 37-7.

Read it all here.

In case you’re wondering who the No votes were…

NAYs —13
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lee (R-UT)
Markey (D-MA)
Merkley (D-OR)
Paul (R-KY)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Sasse (R-NE)
Warren (D-MA)
Wyden (D-OR)
Not Voting – 2
Boxer (D-CA) Sanders (I-VT)

Ted Cruz got on his soapbox about “sending young girls off to war,” but I’m not sure anyone is really paying any attention to him at this point.  If we are truly for treating people equally, this was a no brainer. And, arguably, it was simply a vestigial remnant of a prior sexist attitude over women joining the military.

Israel, while having a shorter conscription time for women has included them in mandatory conscription. So why not the US?

What are your thoughts?

21 Replies to “1-2-3-4, Send those ladies off to war. Senate approves language adding women to Selective Service registration.”

  1. Springer

    Well, equality for women mantra has finally reached a low point. For those of you who deem this a major victory, rejoice. I don’t. It isn’t necessary, and when I called McCain’s office about it, the only quote they could give me was him saying something about women’s equality. BS! Rounds and Thune both voted for this. If a woman wants to join the military and do any job she thinks she can do, then I say go for it. But to forcibly draft them when this was clearly not necessary is ridiculous. And I heard a discussion about how women do NOT have to meet the same requirements as men and are NOT treated the same when they go thru some of these advanced training schools ( I think this was a Ranger), but this is never communicated to the public; only the fact that a woman got thru. And this discussion was by someone who knew whereof she spoke. I just wonder how many moms out there approve of this for their daughters’ futures.

  2. Anonymous

    I am extremely disappointed that Senators Thune and Rounds voted for the bill. They too often fail to stand up for traditional values and go along with the secular-progressives’ social engineering.

  3. Troy Jones

    My comments:

    1) Ted Cruz is proving to be nuts or deceptive. This bill doesn’t have a thing to do with women in combat its about registration for the draft to meet the capacity to successful defend our nation. The military is filled with positions which the physical difference between men and women are irrelevant. Women could be drafted for those positions to free up men for combat.

    2) I think people who think not voting for the Defense Authorization Act over a political issue is placing politics over the defense of our nation.

    That said, I have seen no justification for it but pursuing equality for equality’s sake vs. the needs of the country. If the Armed Services Committee included it for to insure we have adequate capacity to defend our country, I’d like to see the justification (which may exist, I just haven’t seen it).

    1. Anonymous

      Ted’s not nuts or deceptive; he is one of the smartest guys in the government. Somebody who has the guts to stand up to Twit McConnell and that wacko bird John McCain deserves more respect than he is given, that is for sure. Where in the bill or in the selective service rules does it say that women that are drafted WILL be drafted to fill non-combat positions. That seems to be your argument at the end of your first paragraph.

      I guess nothing is worth fighting for: not this, not defeating Obamacare, not pushing back on Obama’s illegal actions. As George Costanza said about the car dealership, “Anything goes; it’s Thunderdome!”

      1. Anon

        CATS AND DOGS, LIVING TOGETHER, MASS HYSTERIA– Bill Murray as chicken little in Ghostbusters and, apparently, posting on a South Dakota politics blog

  4. Springer

    The only quote I got from McCain’s office (he is responsible for this IMO) was for women’s equality. BS! And if you think it is just for the draft which will never happen anyway, that’s like not getting vaccinated for the measles because you are pretty sure you will never get them anyway. This is pure political pandering and burying it in a huge defense bill is indefensible. But this is how DC works anymore; put anything in any bill anywhere and hope no one notices (remember Pelosi saying you have to pass it to see what’s in it; well, that happened, and now we are finding out what was hidden in it). If people truly want this, then bring it up as a stand alone bill, have a debate on it, and then vote on it openly so the people of the US know what is going on. Deplorable way to conduct business is how DC operates nowadays and they hope no one notices.

  5. Troy Jones

    Conservative House Republicans and Iraqi war vets Heck, McSally, and Gibson all supported the change because the military needs are beyond just direct combat troops and the pool of available draftees have to include maximum numbers of skills and capabilities in non-combat roles. The former concentration of the draft only for combat positions is archaic and doesn’t reflect the current demands for a prepared military. They made reference to the actual skills more likely to be needed in a draft are specialized non-combat roles.

  6. Anonymous

    Pat, your pronouncement that this is a “no-brainer” is unpersuasive. If there is a war and the draft takes effect, we would send young girls off to war, so belittling someone like Ted Cruz who is a more conservative person than most, makes you look like a moderate.

    I think Ted Cruz is an honorable guy, and I still listen to what he says because he is only a billion times more eloquent than Trump (who I will vote for given the alternative). I guess no-brainer is one way to describe this vote for some people. For others, myself included, it would be “brainless”. Despite the push to the contrary, there is a difference between boys and girls, and I for one understand that.

    The equality argument doesn’t fly as any woman or young girl (yes, 18 years of age to me IS young) can sign up to be in the military voluntarily, so I don’t know that this is needed.

    I can’t agree with this just because our South Dakota contingent voted yes on it. Thune and Rounds are not perfect, and this vote proves it. Looks like I should move to Idaho as SoDak is getting kinda flaky with Thune, Rounds, and Daugaard.

      1. Springer

        That comment is beneath you. No one says that. No one says that women can’t serve or can’t be or attempt to be whatever they want. But forcing women to sign up for the draft on the assumption that only women are needed to fill the noncombat roles is wrong. Is McCain ready for Meghan to register (yes, I realize she is older than 18 but still) for the draft, or Thune his daughters, or for that part Obama his daughters? Can you see Malia and Sasha in military uniforms? I highly doubt it.

        Those screaming for equality are finally getting it, and I hope every single one of them is ready for their daughters to join the military voluntarily, because they evidently don’t have any problem forcing all the other daughters to do so involuntarily.

      2. anonymous

        That’s the strangest reply!

        How did opposition of women oin combat necessarily mean that women must be in the kitchen?

        Sexist much?

  7. Liberty Dick

    Bad idea. We should be ending conscription not expanding it. I think ending conscription would make a stronger all volunteer military. People I served with that were held past their original contract (or stop loss) were bitter and a drain on the unit when being held for an exorbitant amount of time. I also think we should stop fighting biology and making concessions for the .01% of women who can actually make it in combat arms units.The accommodations that would need to be made will cost the military an arm and a leg. Celebrate the few that can make it. Allow them to participate in ranger school and whatnot but a line needs to be drawn. Common sense needs to prevail.

  8. Troy Jones

    I guess it would be too much to ask to not conflate and confuse issues:

    1) We have an all-volunteer army today. This doesn’t change that.

    2) We have draft registration in the event Congress & President need to institute a draft in the event of an extraordinary threat to national security. This legislation only expands the draft pool to include women.

    The issue we have here is simple:

    1) If we are going to have draft registration considering the magnitude of non-combat roles in the military (highest percentage in history), should women be subject to conscription in the same way as men?

    2) Is there merit (to both military capacity and non-military reasons) to drafting women for non-combat roles to free up drafted men to serve in combat? An example of a non-military reason would be to not have the a disproportionate share of our our civilian workforce to have less men.

    3) Is there merit in having both a study of the skill demands under a draft and determine if all might be better served to make it clear drafted women will not serve in combat unless it serves a MILITARY purpose?

  9. Springer

    This is an issue that should have been debated and voted on in a stand alone bill, and the citizens of the US should have a say in this. To bury it in a huge defense bill and hope no one notices is, as I said, indefensible. But I think the “intelligencia” in DC know that the majority of US citizens would not be in favor of this, and thus thought to stick it in a huge bill that they knew most senators would have to support. Well, some were smart enough not to. I am very disappointed that Thune and Rounds didn’t stand up against this.

    I am finally beginning to think that the present GOP is not the party I want to be a part of. It doesn’t seem to matter if the Dems or GOP are in charge; nothing changes anyway. The GOP has no backbone, is eating its own in this election cycle, and I am about done with it. There might be a whole lot of us who have been slow to come to this realization.

    I urge anyone who is upset over this issue to contact Thune or Round and let them know in no uncertain terms. Might as well contact Noem too because even though the House version of the defense bill did not include this draft part, the bill will be going for a compromise between the House and the Senate versions, and I am afraid that she will then go along with it too. I haven’t heard anything different from here, only that her office said she did not vote for it (of course not, because it wasn’t in the House bill).

  10. Troy Jones


    I’m not sure how I stand on the issue but:

    1) This wasn’t snuck in the Senate bill. Committee amendments voted by members isn’t a sneaky process. If every amendment of ever bill was debated by the full Senate, why even have committee of subject area experts?

    2) We are a Republican Democracy not a direct democracy. Thus, i don’t have the slightest idea how you think the US citizens should have a say in this beyond what they already have- petition your legislators.

    3) The more I read about the statements of people who are military experts the more I think this bill makes sense.

    4) Hearing from you the GOP is eating your own considering you jumped on the Trump bandwagon early and now we are in the precipice of losing to Hillary Clinton (who could have imagined such nonsense), control of the Senate and significantly smaller margins in the House.

  11. Springer

    You are right in #2, but I still say that the people in the US deserve to have had this debated on and a chance to contact their legislators. I doubt even now most of the people even know about this. To me this is sneaky.

    Yes, I jumped on the Trump bandwagon, to quote you, early. I was tired of the go along to get along of the establishment politicians. I still like Cruz, but he had no chance to win as he was too conservative (even though he would have been great!). Carson is probably the most honest but I don’t think he was tough enough to have won. So that leaves a businessman instead of a politician who just might be able to put this economy back on the right track, who is NOT politically correct, and who would appoint much better Supreme Court justices than the libs that we know Hillary will appoint. Many people did not like the GOP choices of the last two presidential elections, but we didn’t trash them every chance we got; we supported them and voted for them; just what did that get us? Obama twice and probably Hillary this time around according to you. This time around the political elite fear Trump because he won’t play their game and thus they are attacking him, the media of course is in the bag for the Dems, and this election is once again the GOP’s to lose. Yes, I blame the GOP for eating their own; the DC politicians can’t believe that we little people actually chose someone else than their preferred candidates, and they IMO prefer to see Hillary win because she will not upset their applecart. They don’t seem to care that the progressive philosophy/socialism that she espouses will be with us for generations to come if she wins, and our children and grandchildren will be forced to live in a country that we wouldn’t even recognize. Don’t blame Trump if we lose; blame the politicos who just can’t see beyond their own careers and are sabotaging his effort every chance they get.

    I will say that Trump says things before thinking sometimes, says some things that I might not completely agree with, but he is 150% better than the alternative. And I hope that he starts emphasizing the Supreme Court nominees, the economy, the dishonesty of Hillary and the Dems, the cost (not just money wise) of electing Hillary, etc.

    1. Troy Jones

      Best argument I’ve heard so far for not making women subject to the draft. I’d like to see how they handle this one. 🙂

      1. Springer

        I’d say this is an argument in favor of MAKING women subject to the draft. Otherwise a man could get out of it by simply saying he feels like a woman when he gets his draft notice; if it works to get into a ladies’ bathroom, it should also work to get out of the draft.

  12. SDMike

    This is the part that always aggravated me in this situation – the penalties, so if your a man and you don’t register you become ineligible for a federal job and in some state a state job also. But there is no down side for a female. You want equity, well here it is.


    I spent 28 years in the military and I couldn’t figure out the dumbing down of mandated PT testing for females, same equitable pay, but lower performance standards – why would that be other then social engineering. You want to earn the same pay check step up to the plate and perform

  13. Anne Beal

    How many women who identify as men have attempted to register for the draft?
    Anybody know? Anybody care to guess?