Friends Committee on National Legislation – 2004-10-06 00:20:30
(October 5, 2004) — In a surprise election-year legislative maneuver, the House Republican leadership is expediting consideration of a bill to resume the military draft (HR 163).
Apparently seeking both to quell widespread rumors that the Republicans may soon resume the draft and to shift this political hot potato to the Democrats, the Republican leadership has decided to put the issue to a vote under a “suspension of rules” whereby a bill is brought to the floor without committee hearings or a markup.
There will be a 40-minute debate; no amendments will be allowed; and then the vote will be taken. The leadership expects the bill to be soundly defeated. Even Rep. Rangel (NY), who originally introduced the bill in early 2003, says he will vote against it.
Rep. Rangel (NY) and 13 other Democrats introduced the bill prior to the war in Iraq. Rangel believes the all-voluntary military is an unjust form of military conscription that draws primarily from the economically disadvantaged. He also believes the U.S. would be more cautious about going to war if everyone’s son or daughter had an equal likelihood of being called upon to fight.
We at FCNL believe the military draft is not the way to bring about the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, we call upon Congress to redirect the tremendous human and material resources now devoted to war and preparing for war to address the root causes of violence, to build cooperative, international institutions to peacefully prevent deadly conflicts, and to advance human security in all its dimensions.
For more information, please see the background information on FCNL’s web site
or contact the Center on Conscience and War at http://www.nisbco.org/