Ending The Draft?

Legislation Introduced to Limit Selective Service Registration to “National Emergencies”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) introduced a bill on February 10, 2011 that would abolish the Selective Service System and end draft registration for young men.

H.R. 621, the National Emergency Selective Service Act of 2011, would “deauthorize the Military Selective Service Act, including the registration requirement and the activities of civilian local boards, civilian appeal boards, and similar local agencies of the Selective Service System, except during a national emergency declared by the President, and for other purposes.”

The bill, should it become law, also retroactively excuses persons who have failed to register with Selective Service, although the details surrounding this remain unclear.

In a press release from his office on February 11, Coffman said, “The time has come to end the registration requirement and dismantle the Selective Service System.  It’s an outdated program that has cost us well over $700 million in the last 31 years and it is time for it to go.”  (the full press release can be found here: http://coffman.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content

Coffman began his military career with the Marines in 1972, saw active duty combat in the Gulf War, and served active duty in Iraq in 2005.  He served in many state positions in Colorado before being elected to the House in 2008.  He is a member of the Armed Services Committee.

H.R. 621 was referred to the House Committee on Armed Services on February 10 and currently has no co-sponsors.

The bill can be found in its entirety here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr621ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr621ih.pdf

Current Law:

The Military Selective Service Act states that all males must register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday.  Currently, Selective Service also is not classifying anyone who registers, including conscientious objectors (COs).  If the draft is reinstituted, all males ages 18-26 are subject to it.