Speaker Pelosi won't support U.S. draft bill

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday the House Democratic Party leadership would not support the announced plan of Representative Charles Rangel to put forth a bill with the aim to reinstate the draft. There has been no draft since 1973 after the Vietnam War when the U.S. armed forces changed to an all volunteer army. The U.S. currently requires registration of all males between the ages of 18 and 26 for the purposes of a possible national emergency, but there is currently no active draft.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft, and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rep. Rangel said Sunday.

Representative Rangel (D-NY), a Korean War veteran, has brought bills to reinstate the draft to the floor of the House several times. None of these bills successfully moved through the congressional process. In 2003 Rangel put forth legislation to draft men and women between the ages of 18 to 26. Earlier this year he proposed legislation to commence draft military service for men and women between the ages of 18 to 42.

Democrats interviewed in various outlets Sunday expressed no support for the draft plan. Pelosi noted, however, that Rangel remains "a strong voice for social justice in our country" and his support of the draft is done to make a valid point.