[Update 2: the original article wasn’t ever removed. A bit of software I use killed the link; the one I have up now works.]
First off, the two bills in question are H.R. 163 and S. 89. The record shows that S. 89 was introduced on 1/7/2003 and was referred to the Committee on Armed Services the same day. H.R. 163 was also introduced on 1/7/2003 and was referred to the Subcommittee on Total Force on 2/3/2003. There has been absolutely no action on either bill since they were referred to committee.
H.R 163 was introduced by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), and S. 89 was introduced by Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC). Neither of these men support Bush. It seems unlikely, to say the least, that they would be working with Bush to institute a stealth draft scheduled for just after the presidential elections.
We also have the public statements of some supporters of the bill to use in reaching our conclusions. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), a co-sponsor of H.R. 163, made his reasons for co-sponsoring public.
It is my understanding that out of the 435 Members of this House and the 100 members of the Senate, only one — only one — has a child in active military service. Who are we to know the pain of war when we ourselves will not directly bear the brunt of that action? It won’t be us mourning the loss of a child or loved one. Maybe some of you in this Congress would think twice about voting for war in Iraq if you knew your child may be sent to fight in the streets of Baghdad?
If our nation is to go to war, it is only right that all Americans share in the sacrifice of war. It is time we truly comprehended the consequences. I urge my colleagues to support a universal draft which I believe will make votes for war much more real for many of my colleagues.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), another co-sponsor, expressed similar sentiments. Finally, you can read the CNN article run at the time the bills were introduced. It is perfectly clear that Rangel’s intent was to remind everyone that rich kids don’t tend to serve in the military.
This hubbub has done nothing to prevent the draft, because there is no threat. However, it has driven a ton of traffic to Congress.org, a website featuring both Google ads and a banner ad at the top.
Next post: who is Congress.org?