GOP senators move to keep women out of military draft
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A group of Senate Republicans wants to remove a controversial provision from the Senate's annual defense policy bill that would require women to register for the draft.

Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeSenate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Trump turns up heat on AG Sessions over recusal GOP senators back Sessions after Trump attacks MORE (R-Utah) has filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would remove the provision and block any court, including the Supreme Court, from hearing cases about who must register with the Selective Service System. 

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The debate over requiring women to take part has split Congressional Republicans, and opponents argue that Congress needs to spend more time studying the issue. 

Lee’s amendment would add a section into the defense bill expressing the "sense of Congress that the decision of the secretary of Defense to open all military occupational specialties to women raises important legal, political and social questions about who should be required to register for the military selective service." 

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced in December that the Pentagon would open all combat roles to women.

The amendment would also give only Congress authority to change the Selective Service Act and require the Pentagon prepare a report for Congress July 1, 2017, about whether the selective service is still needed and if registration should be required regardless of gender. 

The amendment is backed by GOP Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzMcCain votes to advance ObamaCare repeal, replace after vowing to oppose Senate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Senate Dem: We’re trying to block a recess appointment to replace Sessions MORE (Texas), James InhofeJames InhofeMcCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty GOP signals infrastructure bill must wait Lobbying World MORE (Okla.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerTrump Navy secretary nominee moves forward to Senate vote 355-ship Navy not a must under Trump's secretary nominee GOP senator: 'Everybody wants to get to yes' on healthcare MORE (Miss.). 

Though a Senate floor fight over the provision is expected, Lee faces an uphill battle. A push to remove it during the Senate Armed Services Committee markup failed in a 7-19 vote. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulSenate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Overnight Healthcare: Senate votes to begin ObamaCare repeal debate | McCain returns to vote | GOP floats scaled-down healthcare bill Overnight Regulation: House votes to repeal forced arbitration rule | Dems look to ban controversial pesticide | House panel wants to hear from tech CEOs on net neutrality MORE (R-Ky.) has introduced an amendment to the NDAA to get rid of the draft entirely.  

If the current provision is left in the Senate bill, supporters will still face a fight with the House. 

The House Armed Services Committee initially approved an amendment expanding the draft, with 26 Democrats and six Republicans on the committee supporting the proposal. 

But the Rules Committee moved to strip the language, and the House formally removed the proposal as part of a larger procedural vote. 

The draft, which ended in 1973, has been in the spotlight since the Pentagon began opening more roles to female soldiers. 

A Rasmussen Reports poll released earlier this year found that 49 percent of all likely U.S. voters think women should be required to register for the draft, compared to 44 percent who disagree.