2024 Election

House Passes Defense Bill Automatically Registering Men 18-26 for Draft

According to Fox News, the House of Representatives passed a measure on Friday automatically registering men aged 18 to 26 for selective service.

It was part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets out the U.S. government’s military and national security priorities over the next fiscal year. 

This year’s NDAA authorizes $895.2 billion in military spending, a $9 billion increase from fiscal 2024.

Are you ready to be drafted? Video:

While it hasn’t been invoked in over half a century, it’s mandatory for all male U.S. citizens to register for the selective service, also known as the military draft, when they turn 18. Failure to register is classified as a felony and comes with a host of legal challenges.

Supporters of the amendment argue that it would cut down on bureaucratic red tape and help U.S. citizens avoid unnecessary legal issues, as well as cutting down on the taxpayer dollars going toward prosecuting those cases.

The provision for automatic registration aims to streamline the bureaucratic process and mitigate the legal repercussions associated with failing to register for the Selective Service, a requirement for all male U.S. citizens when they turn 18. Non-compliance with this registration, while not enforced for over 50 years, is classified as a felony and carries significant legal challenges.

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), who spearheaded the amendment, emphasized that the initiative would leverage existing federal databases to ensure compliance, thus redistributing resources towards readiness and mobilization rather than registration campaigns. “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,” Houlahan stated.

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“This will also allow us to rededicate resources — basically that means money — towards reading readiness and towards mobilization … rather than towards education and advertising campaigns driven to register people.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blasted the bill on Friday afternoon over the inclusion of amendments curbing funding for abortion, transgender medical care, and diversity efforts.

“Unsurprisingly, the legislation coming out of the House today is loaded with anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, anti-environment, and other divisive amendments guaranteed not to pass the Senate,” Schumer said. “As we move forward with this year’s NDAA process, both sides will have to work together to pass bipartisan legislation that honors and respects all who serve in defense of our nation.”

The passage of the NDAA in the House marks a significant development in U.S. defense policy, particularly with the automatic draft registration mandate. While the bill faces hurdles in the Senate, its provisions reflect a strategic enhancement of military readiness and resource allocation.


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Experienced journalist with a knack for storytelling and a commitment to delivering accurate news. Şenay has a passion for investigative reporting and shining a light on important issues.


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