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Hartzler: Abolish the Draft

November 4, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) introduced multiple pieces of legislation designed to eliminate the draft registration requirement for Americans.
 
These pieces of legislation, the Stop Military Selective Service Registration Act and End the Draft Act, would both end mandatory registration for the draft by repealing the Military Selective Service Act. The Stop Military Selective Service Registration Act would also place the Selective Service System into a deep standby mode.
 
Hartzler is joined by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) on both pieces of legislation, and Rep. Scott Desjarlais (R-Tenn.) on the Stop Military Selective Service Registration Act.
 
“The United States military is the strongest unit the world has seen, with its voluntary service amassing over 1.4 million active-duty members,” Hartzler said. “Given the strength of our nation’s Armed Forces and the apparent lack or purpose of the Selective Service’s use, it is wholly unnecessary to burden American citizens with registering for the draft. Instead, we should reassess our priorities to ensure we remain the most dominating military force on the planet.”
 
“The draft and the selective service registration have been rarely used in recent American history,” said Lamborn. “An all-volunteer military is a far more lethal and effective fighting force that also costs American taxpayers less money. In addition to decreasing military readiness, the draft is also unnecessary to sustain troop levels over time. Congress should act to remove this outdated burden and prevent our sons and daughters from being drafted. I am grateful for the leadership of Rep. Hartzler on this important issue.”
 
“I am proud to stand with Rep. Hartzler on a thoughtful way to address the issue with this antiquated system,” said Desjarlais.
 
The Military Selective Service Act requires most males between the ages of 18 and 26 to register with the Selective Service in case Congress authorizes a draft. Men who fail to register can face criminal penalties, loss of eligibility for employment opportunities and education benefits, and the denial of security clearances.
 
Despite not using the draft for induction into the military in nearly five decades, certain members of Congress are seeking to expand registration requirements and penalties to females. This proposed expansion is unnecessary and raises significant questions about the registration requirements currently in place. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hartzler voted against extending the draft to females when it was debated in the Committee. This legislation furthers her efforts to stop this harmful expansion by putting an end to selective service registration in its entirety.
 
The Selective Service System has been placed in deep standby mode twice since 1947. Most recently, the system was placed in deep standby between 1975 and 1980, after President Gerald Ford suspended the registration requirement. Today, we have the most professional and capable military in the world, and it is antiquated to continue a registration system that has barely been used in our nation’s 245-year history. Instead of expanding registration requirements to women, Congress should look for ways to strengthen the all-volunteer force so we continue to be the greatest military in the world.
 
View both pieces of legislation here and here.