Thursday, March 19, 2009

HOUSE APPROVES CONSIDERATION OF NATIONAL DRAFT

Fox News - The House of Representatives passed a measure Wednesday that supporters are calling the most sweeping reform of nationally-backed volunteer programs since Americorps. . . The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, known as the GIVE Act -- sponsored by Reps. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y, and George Miller, D-Calif. -- was approved by a 321-105 vote and now goes to the Senate.

The bill creates a "Congressional Commission on Civic Service" . . . tasked with exploring a number of topics, including "whether a workable, fair and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the nation."

Progressive Review - The study of a possible national draft is buried deep in the legislation which has generally noble purposes.

This is not, however, a minor addition. The Review was virtually alone among the media to report during the campaign that Obama himself favors mandatory national service, "a plan that appears to be in sync with one being promoted by a new coalition that would make national service mandatory by 2020, and with a bill for such mandatory national service introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel." Said Obama on July 2 at Colorado Springs, CO, "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

It is worth noting that the bill at several points distinguishes between "volunteerism" and "national service," presumably because it expects the later will not be a voluntary act.

You have been warned.

Give Act (as passed by House) - There is established in the legislative branch a commission to be known as the Congressional Commission on Civic Service . . . (In carrying out its general purpose under subsection (a), the Commission shall address and analyze the following specific topics. . .

Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

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