Glance: Lawmakers seek end to draft registration
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two lawmakers are waging a little-noticed campaign to abolish the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that manages draft registration.
Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., say the millions of dollars the agency spends each year preparing for the possibility of a military draft is a waste of money. They say the Pentagon has no interest in returning to conscription due to the success of the all-volunteer force.
Here's a quick look at the Selective Service System:
— The Selective Service has a budget of $24 million and a full-time staff of 130. It maintains a database of about 17 million potential male draftees. In the event of a draft, the agency would mobilize as many as 11,000 volunteers to serve on local draft boards that would decide if exemptions or deferments to military service were warranted.
The Selective Service is an "inexpensive insurance policy," said Lawrence Romo, the agency's director. "We are the true backup for the true emergency."
— Men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register and can do so online or by mail. Those who fail to register with the Selective Service can be charged with a felony. The Justice Department hasn't prosecuted anyone for that offense since 1986.