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The Bill: H.R. 1152, Universal National Service Act of 2011
Annualized Cost: $4.722 billion (first-year cost)
In order to decrease the number of unemployed 18 to 25 years olds across the country, Congressman Charles Rangel (NY-15) sponsored the Universal National Service Act. If enacted, young adults residing in America would be obligated to serve a two-year period in either the armed forces or as civilian workers in the government. Students in high school or post secondary schools may be granted deferments but would still be required to serve the government before the age of 24 or when their studies are complete. In the new service system, women would also be required to register for the Selective Service.
Based on a 2003 Government Accountability Office report and a Department of Defense estimate from 1988, NTUF determined, after adjusting for inflation, that the bill would cost $4.722 billion in the first fiscal year.
The Bill: H.R. 621, National Emergency Selective Service Act of 2011
Annualized Savings: -$24 million (first-year savings)
Having been in existence in some form for the last 94 years, the Selective Service System is in charge of keeping a record of all males in the US between the ages of 18 and 25. The program was established to facilitate the drafting of Americans in the event the country needed more military recruits. Sponsored by Congressman Mike Coffman (CO-6), H.R. 621 would deauthorize and defund the program.
According to the agency, taxpayers would save $24 million in the first fiscal year.
Least Expensive Bill of the Week
The Bill: H.R. 1146, American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2009
Annualized Savings: -$3.638 billion (first-year savings)
Halfway into the 65th year of its membership, the United States is scheduled to contribute 22 percent of the United Nations' (UN) 2010-11 budget. The US is obligated to contribute approximately $3.1 billion in regular budgetary contributions and $500 million in other UN and international policy-related expenses. This $3.6-billion figure includes planned spending but not emergency funding for items such as emergency humanitarian relief or military intervention operations.
Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14) introduced H.R. 1146 to end membership in the UN. The bill would repeal programs and laws that fund and support UN operations.
NTUF determined $3.638 billion in savings would result if the American Sovereignty Restoration Act was enacted. Spending rescissions would occur within the Department of State's overall international organization contributions and in planned peacekeeping activities.
The Bill: H.R. 1093, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Reform Act of 2011
Annualized Cost: $13 million ($63 million over five years)
Number of Cosponsors: 82 Congressmen
H.R. 1093 would clarify and augment certain firearms violations. Currently, law enforcement officials, specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), are limited to giving warnings or revoking licenses for any kind of gun violations. According to Congressman Steve King (IA-5), such minor violations as filing records in the wrong order or improper use of abbreviations could bring severe restrictions on otherwise law-abiding gun owners.
The bill creates a graduated penalty system for civil violations and permits a grace period associated with the sale of a firearms business.
H.R. 1093 would have an annualized cost of $13 million. Costs to the federal government include more administrative and legal staff and purchasing enhanced computer systems.
Cosponsors include 14 Democrats and 68 Republicans in the House.
Congressman King introduced similar legislation in the 111th Congress. That bill was covered in the Taxpayer's Tab Volume 1 Issue 11.