End Military Draft Registration to Cut Wasteful Spending, Say Congressmen

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As Washington seeks to identify wasteful federal spending, two lawmakers have proposed getting rid of the Selective Service System that registers men ages 18-25 for the potentiality of reinstating the military draft.

Congressmen Peter DeFazio (D-Ore) and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo) say that it makes no sense to maintain the Selective Service System when the “Pentagon has no interest in returning to conscription due to the success of the all-volunteer force.”

They said that the government is wasting millions of dollars each year to maintain this database “preparing for the possibility of a military draft” that is highly unlikely.

According to the Associated Press:

The Selective Service has a budget of $24 million and a full-time staff of 130. It maintains a database of about 17 million potential male draftees. In the event of a draft, the agency would mobilize as many as 11,000 volunteers to serve on local draft boards that would decide if exemptions or deferments to military service were warranted.

The Selective Service is an “inexpensive insurance policy,” said Lawrence Romo, the agency’s director. “We are the true backup for the true emergency.”

Men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register and can do so online or by mail. Those who fail to register with the Selective Service can be charged with a felony. The Justice Department hasn’t prosecuted anyone for that offense since 1986.

There can be other consequences, though. Failing to register can mean the loss of financial aid for college, being refused employment with the federal government, and denied U.S. citizenship.

This proposal to end draft registrations comes just one week after Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) proposed reinstating the draft to include all women.

“Now that women can serve in combat they should register for the Selective Service alongside their male counterparts,” said Rangel in a statement. “Reinstating the draft and requiring women to register for the Selective Service would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation.

Obviously, returning to conscription and expanding Selective Service to all women aged 18-25 would dramatically increase these costs.

“There is no one who wants this (draft registration) except ‘chicken hawk’ members of Congress,” DeFazio told the Associated Press.

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