McCain gets testy with Cruz over defense bill that would make women register for draft
WASHINGTON – Ted Cruz’s first Senate speech since he dropped his presidential bid led to a testy exchange with an old nemesis, the GOP’s 2008 nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
And on Tuesday, McCain accused Cruz of looking for a pretext to distance himself from a bipartisan defense bill that McCain has worked on for months and of which he was proud, and said he’d be much more open to Cruz’s ideas “if he would consider voting for the defense of this nation.”
The Armed Services Committee, which McCain chairs, outraged Cruz and other conservatives by including in the annual defense bill a provision that would require women to register for a potential draft. Cruz was one of three senators on the committee to vote against the bill last month.
Cruz, he said sarcastically, has a “unique capability” to pick out a single provision in a complex bill and then take a “strong moral stand.” He argued that the nation’s military leaders universally view it as only fair to have both young men and young women register with Selective Service.
Cruz opened his remarks expressing sympathy for victims of recent Texas flooding. But it was his comments on defense policy that triggered McCain’s anger.
“The NDAA shouldn’t be a vehicle to further an agenda that has nothing to do with actually defending America,” Cruz said, pitching three amendments.
One would boost spending on missile defense for Israel. Another would block the Obama administration’s efforts to cede some control over the internet to other countries. The third would strip citizenship from Americans who fight with terrorists overseas.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.