National Service Act of 2006

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Universal National Service Act of 2006, sponsored by Rep. Charles Rangel, was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives on February 14, 2006. On February 23, 2006, it was referred to the House Subcommittee on Military Personnel. The bill was never enacted.

Public debate

Rep. Rangel argued that the bill was necessary since in the case of a mandatory draft members of the U.S. Congress would be much less likely to authorize an unnecessary war if they knew that their own children and family members might be sent to fight it. He was quoted as saying: "There’s no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm’s way".[1] Rangel also argued that bringing back the draft would remedy the social disparity of the burden of military service falling disproportionately on the poor and the minorities.[2] After the Democratic victories in the November 2007 congressional elections, Rangel repeated his call for re-introduction of the draft and for moving forward on the bill,[3] and a more active public discussion of the proposal followed. Most of the reaction in the media, Congress and by the public was negative,[4][5][6][7][8] although occasional support for the idea was expressed as well.[9] The military leadership expressed opposition to the idea.[10] Many conservative critics[who?] charged that the bill on re-introducing the draft was simply a political maneuver by Rangel aimed to underscore the unpopularity of the Iraq War. The debate was largely over soon after the incoming Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that she was not interested in advancing the bill to reintroduce the draft.[11]

See also


  1. Tom Zeller Jr. To Rangel With the Draft. New York Times, November 20, 2006. Accessed May 13, 2008
  2. RANGEL REINTRODUCES DRAFT BILL. Congressional Press Release. February 14, 2006. Quote: "I dare anyone to try to convince me that this war is not being fought predominantly by tough, loyal, and patriotic young men and women from the barren hills and towns of rural and underprivileged neighborhoods in urban America where unemployment is high and opportunities are few. As we see who are the troops coming home wounded and killed, I challenge anyone to tell me that the wealthiest have not been excluded from that roll call."
  3. "Rep. Rangel Will Seek to Reinstate Draft". Washington Post. November 19, 2006
  4. A MILITARY DRAFT MIGHT AWAKEN US. Boston Globe, June 22, 2006
  5. Dodging Rangel's draft. New York Post. February 17, 2007
  6. EDITORIAL: Daft proposal: Rangel's draft call strictly political. Daily Oklahoman. November 21, 2006
  7. Rangel's call to reinstate draft meets resistance. Los Angeles Times. November 21, 2006
  8. OUR TURN : Now is not the time for a military draft. San Antonio Express. December 3, 2006
  9. Michael Goodwin: It's foolish to risk our future by having insufficient troops. Dallas Morning News. December 4, 2006
  10. Feeling A Draft. CBS News. November 27, 2006
  11. Pelosi, Hoyer Say House Won't Consider Resuming Draft. Bloomberg News. November 20, 2006