Thursday, March 19, 2009

House Bill Indicating Young People Will Engage in Mandatory National Service

The House passed H.R. 1388: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act yesterday which includes language indicating young people will engage in mandatory national service programs as a fulfillment of Obama’s promised “civilian national security force.”

Candidate Obama addressed youth service on 2 July 2008 when he suggested national security could be entrusted to a civilian force.

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded," Obama stated during a Colorado Springs rally.

H.R. 1388, known as the GIVE Act, was passed by a 321-105 margin and now goes to the Senate. The Senate has been considering a similar piece of legislation.

Under section 6104 of the bill, entitled “Duties,” in subsection B6, the legislation states that a commission will be set up to investigate:

“Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.”

Section 120 of the bill also discusses the “Youth Engagement Zone Program” and states that “service learning” will be “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.”