For the first time in history, the U.S. Senate passed a $602 billion defense bill Tuesday that included an amendment which would require women to register for the military draft – by an 85-13 vote.
According to multiple sources, the National Defense Authorization Act passed the provision pertaining to the requirement of women turning 18 on or after Jan. 1, 2018, to register for selective service.
Failure to register for the draft could result in the loss of various forms of federal aid, including Pell grants.
In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled women did not have to register for the draft, noting they should not face the same requirements as men since they did not participate on the front lines of combat. In December, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said the Pentagon would open all combat jobs to women, leading to military officials telling Congress, women should also sign up for the draft.
The Senate’s bill needs to go through a reconciliation process with a different House version of the legislation. The bill has been threatened to be vetoed by the White House because of provisions that the Office of Management and Budget call “attempts to micromanage” the Department of Defense. The number of senators who approved the bill deem more than enough to override the veto.