In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Training and Service Act to officially establish the Selective Service. In this week's edition of the Taxpayer's Tab, NTUF looked at two bills that would fundementally alter the program and determined how they might affect the federal budget.
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 748, the Universal National Service Act. The bill would expand the Selective Service program to include women, thereby doubling the pool of potential draftees to nearly 27 million American citizens and immigrant non-citizens. Additionally, Rep. Rangel's legislation would require every person between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform two years of national service designed to meet "human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs." The bill would allow for temporary exemptions for students in high school or post-secondary courses of study. NTUF estimated that the Universal National Service Act's requirements would increase federal outlays by at least $4.9 billion in the first year.
On the other hand, Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced H.R. 978, the National Emergency Selective Service Act, which would defund and deauthorize the Service (the President would still be authorized to conduct a military draft, but only after declaring a state of national emergency). Defunding the program would decrease federal spending to the tune of $24 million.
NTUF also examined other recent legislation, including:
- Least Expensive: Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced H.R. 824, the Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act. It would limit the federal government to one new hire per every three workers that retire or leave service. The restrictions would remain in place until the federal workforce is reduced by 10 percent. Rep. Lummis' bill would reduce federal outlays by $6.9 billion per year, or $34.6 billion over 5 years.
- Most Friended: Congresswoman Linda Sanchez's (D-CA) Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 1199) was introduced to combat bullying in public schools. It would require publicly-funded schools to adopt policies that discourage bullying, and to submit regular reports to States regarding how effective those policies are. The bill would not affect federal spending and had 82 sponsors in the House.
- The Wildcard: Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) have introduced S. 454, the Family Self-Sufficiency Act. It would consolidate certain public housing programs and extend eligibility for benefits to low-income individuals living in private residences. The bill would increase federal spending by $100 million per year, or $500 million over 5 years.