The military draft registration agency should be nixed, two U.S. lawmakers argue. They are campaigning to do away with the Selective Service System, which oversees military draft registration.
Two U.S. lawmakers are making a push to get rid of the Selective Service System, the agency used to manage the military draft registration.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) have said that the government wastes millions of dollars each year preparing for a potential draft. The government, they add, has experienced success with its current volunteer army format, meaning the draft is basically useless.
The Selective Service System has 130 full-time staff members with a budget of $134 million, reported The Associated Press. It also keeps a list of around 13 million potential males it could use in the draft.
Men between the ages of 18 and 25 are forced to sign up online or by mail, and those who fail to register can be charged with a felony and could be hit with other penalties, including a loss of financial aid, a denial of employment, or losing one’s immigration status. However, the government has not penalized anyone for the offense in more than 25 years.
DeFazio argued that it is pointless threaten so many men when getting drafted is a remote possibility. The United States ended the draft in 1973 but has kept up the Selective Service System.
“There is no one who wants this except ‘chicken hawk’ members of Congress,” DeFazio said of the draft, according to AP.
Selective Service head Lawrence Romo described the agency as an “inexpensive insurance policy,” and claimed “we are the true backup for the true emergency.”
Women are not required to sign up for the draft, but some experts say that with the lifting of the ban on women in combat, there might be a change in the law.
David McKean, the legal director with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, told Politico: “It would seem a little strange to have nearly every job in the military open to women and not also require them to register for Selective Service.”
Last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta did not elaborate on whether women would be included in the draft after the announcement was made for lifting the ban on women in combat.
“With regards to Selective Service, you know, that’s not our operation,” Panetta said. “I don’t know who the hell controls Selective Service, if you want to know the truth. But, you know, whoever does, they’re going to have to exercise some judgment based on what we just did.”
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