Representative Charlie Rangel proposed a bill in February that would require Americans between ages 18 and 25 to do two years of service to the government.
H.R. 748, or the Universal National Service Act, was introduced on Feb. 15 by Rangel, a Democrat from New York. It has gained no further action after being referred to the House Committee on Armed Services, according to Congress.gov. The bill currently has no co-sponsors.
According to Abcnews.go.com, Rangel introduced bills in 2007, 2010 and 2011 to reestablish a military draft.
Alexander R. Cohen, managing editor of the Business Rights Center and associate scholar at the Atlas Society, published various articles about the bill in college newspapers, such as West Virginia University and Texas Tech.
“Two years of your life are potentially taken away from you,” said Cohen. “Think about what you can do in two years.”
The government service would be military service or civilian service in the local, state or federal government. Cohen is unsure of the amount of control one could have in choosing their preferred service, since the bill does not specify.
Cohen emphasizes the fact that college students that practice their career skills near the time of their graduation could not directly transition into their job. He said that “some of those skills will atrophy” if the students do not go directly into their field.
“Maybe it will have relevance to your work, maybe it won’t,” said Cohen.
Students have mixed reactions about Rangel’s proposal.
“I wouldn’t like it,” said Amanda Sharp, a sophomore elementary education major. “That’s forcing me to do something I’m not comfortable with.”
“I don’t feel that I should be property of the state,” said Ryan Maurer, a sophomore accounting major.
Kayla Stevens, a freshman photography major, thought bill could be useful to young people.
“I guess it’s a good idea, because it would get kids our age involved and caring,” said Stevens.
All three students were not aware of the bill before their interviews.
By Emily Leayman