Edward Hasbrouck | Originally published in The Practical Nomad July 7th, 2016
- Yesterday, voted down (294-128) a proposed amendment to completely defund the Selective Service System; and then
- Today, approved (217-203)an amendment that forbids the use of any of the money appropriated for the Selective Service System for Federal Fiscal Year 2017 "to change Selective Service System registration requirements" (such as to require women as well as men to register for the draft).
The effect of these two votes is likely to be limited. But in their current context, they are not a good sign for opponents of conscription and war, and confirm the need for continued, expanded, and more visible resistance to draft registration.
The second of these votes, the one today approving an amendment to forbid Selective Service System funding from being spent in FY2017 on expanding draft registration for women, went the right way but will have almost no effect, even if the Senate agrees to this provision in the final bill. That's because registration of women for the draft isn't proposed to start until FY2018, and thus wouldn't require any funding in FY2017.
The current proposal to expand draft registration to women is contained in the Senate version of a separate Department of Defense authorization bill. That bill would set policy but doesn't contain any funding for this program. The Selective Service System is not part of the Department of Defense, and is funded separately as an "independent" agency. But the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act provides that women would be required to register for the draft, if men are required to register, beginning with women born in 2000. These women would have to register beginning when the first of them turn 18 on 1 January 2018.