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U.S. House of Reps Passes Bill to Automatically Register Men Aged 18-26 for Military Draft

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US military

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping defence bill on Friday evening, which includes a controversial provision to automatically enrol young men aged 18 to 26 in the Selective Service.

The $895 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by a narrow margin of 217–199.

Despite the bill’s passage in the House, it faces an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled Senate due to contentious amendments related to abortion, diversity initiatives, and transgender medical treatments.

However, the Selective Service provision stands out as part of a long-term bipartisan effort to maintain the framework for military conscription, even though the draft ended in 1975.

If enacted, automatic registration would replace the current process where 18-year-old male U.S. citizens receive a notification in the mail from the government, mandating their registration under threat of criminal penalties.

Proponents argue that leveraging existing federal databases for automatic registration would be more efficient and cost-effective.

By using available federal databases, the [Selective Service] agency will be able to register all of the individuals required and thus help ensure that any future military draft is fair and equitable, stated Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D–Pa.) on the House floor.

“This will also allow us to rededicate resources that means money towards readiness and mobilisation, rather than education and advertising campaigns aimed at registering people.”

Rep. Houlahan, an Air Force veteran, is interested in Selective Service reform. In 2021, she led a House bill requiring women to register  expanding the draft pool significantly.

Read more: Ramaphosa Re-elected as South Africa’s President in Historic ANC-DA Coalition

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