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 LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Officials want action on cyberattacks Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook Trump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham 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.
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 CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (Texas), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeTop Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal Austin, Milley to testify on Afghanistan withdrawal The Pentagon budget is already out of control: Some in Congress want to make it worse MORE (Okla.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Ben Sasse (Neb.) and Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerGOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Rep. Tim Ryan becomes latest COVID-19 breakthrough case in Congress Top Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal 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 PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 White House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken 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.