Military draft registration could be coming to an end as two lawmakers are on a campaign to abolish the Selective Service System.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, and Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican from Colorado, are the ones leading the charge to end military draft registration. They say the agency wastes millions of dollars each year preparing for the possibility of a military draft, The Associated Press noted.
The Selective Service employs 130 people and has an annual budget of $24 million. The agency keeps a database of about 17 million male draftees, and if a draft is reinstated the Selective Service could mobilize as many as 11,000 volunteers to serve on local draft boards.
DeFazio and Coffman said that’s too expensive for what is essentially an emergency clause, and they want to end military draft registration.
They noted that the measure should have the support of most members of Congress.
“There is no one who wants this except ‘chicken hawk’ members of Congress,” DeFazio says, describing members who support military action without having entered the service themselves.
At the same time, a push could be coming to expand military draft registration. A recent decision from the Obama administration to lift the ban on women in combat could open the door for a change to the law that now compels men between ages 18 and 25 to register for a military draft.
“They’re going to have to show that excluding women from the draft actually improves military readiness,” Diane Mazur, a law professor at the University of Florida and a former Air Force officer, told The Associated Press. “I just don’t see how you can make that argument.”
There is support for expanding military draft registration in Congress as well. Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan and the chairman on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he supports women having to register for the draft.