Rubio Says He’ll Co-Sponsor Bill To Keep Draft Male-Only Unless Congress Expands It

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Republican presidential candidate Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] expressed support for drafting women at the GOP debate over the weekend, but he has since said he will co-sponsor a bill that would entrench the current male-only draft requirement, unless Congress expressly expands it to include females, as well.

“I do believe selective service should be opened up for both men and women in the case that the draft is ever instituted,” Rubio said at the debate.

Less than a week since he made those remarks, Rubio joined Republican candidate Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] in support of Sen. [crscore]Mike Lee[/crscore]’s bill, which would strip the Supreme Court of the authority over expanding the draft and stipulates decisions on Selective Service rest solely in the hands of Congress. At least as far as Sen. Mike Lee is concerned, the point of this language is to make sure that the Supreme Court can’t reverse its 1981 decision unilaterally and expand the draft to include women. Instead, if the bill passes, only Congress will be able to change this.

As Lee spoke about the bill, his intent was clear.

“We simply can’t trust this president or the courts to honor the law and protect our daughters,” Lee said in statement to The Hill on Thursday.

Despite Lee’s clear intent to protect women from the draft, Rubio’s campaign insisted to The Daily Caller News Foundation that his support of Lee’s bill is only to make sure that the Supreme Court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the issue and does not entail support for barring women from the draft.

“Senator Lee has his views on the way forward, and Marco has his views. But they all agree it should be up to Congress, and that’s all this bill does,” Rubio’s spokesman Alex Burgos told TheDCNF.

The bill has yet to be introduced and is likely to be pushed back from its original date of Thursday to Feb. 23.

When it finally does come into play, Cruz and Rubio are ready to co-sponsor the legislation, according to National Review.

Cruz has blasted the idea of a draft as totally immoral and emblematic of political correctness.

On the House side, four members introduced a bill Thursday to abolish Selective Service altogether as an alternative solution.

“Maintaining the Selective Service simply makes no sense,” GOP Rep. [crscore]Mike Coffman[/crscore], a Marine Corps veteran, said in a statement. “In 1973, the last draftee entered the Army and since then, despite the first Gulf War and subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has never considered reinstituting the draft. Our all-volunteer military has given us the most elite fighting force in the history of this country.”

This story has been updated to clarify Rubio’s position and note that it was not a full reversal.

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