Key Democrats oppose renewing military draft

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Leading Democrats who soon will control the legislative agenda in the U.S. Congress rejected on Monday a colleague's call for reinstatement of the U.S. military draft.

"I don't think we need it," Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan told reporters. He is set to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee when Democrats take over both houses of Congress from Republicans in January.

Congressional Republicans also have not expressed support. Rep. Duncan Hunter, the outgoing chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the military has been meeting its recruitment goals. "You have a draft and you have a lot of people who don't want to serve ... to force them to come in and take the place of volunteers doesn't make a lot of sense."

The top two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives also voiced their opposition to a plan being pushed by Rep. Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, for drafting soldiers into the army for the first time since 1973.

"We did not include that" in legislative plans for early next year, said Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who will be House majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January.

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California noted her opposition to the draft in remarks to reporters. She said Rangel was trying to underscore that the U.S. war effort should be a "shared sacrifice" and his legislation was "a way to make that point."

So a Democrat is calling for the re-instatement of the draft to be considered?

Perhaps some of the cousins or ex-pats can expand on this a bit more. I don't think he seriously expected this to be considered , and Speaker Pelosi makes that point.

For the record, Rangel is not yet another 'Politician who never served but loves war'

From his bio

Congressman Rangel served in the U.S. Army from 1948-52, during which time he fought in Korea and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star

He also doesn't seem backward in coming forward when something gets on his chebs

Sudanese Embassy Protest
Rangel is also noteworthy for his willingness to risk arrest for participating in political protests. Most recently, on July 13, 2004, he was the first of three sitting US House members to be arrested on trespassing charges, for protesting alleged human rights abuses in Sudan in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington. Later in the week of July 13, 2004, Congressman Bobby Rush of Illinois and Congressman Joe Hoeffel of Pennsylvania would also be arrested at the Sudanese Embassy. Nearly two decades previously, Rangel had been arrested for participating in an anti-apartheid rally in front of the South African Embassy in Washington. On March 15, 1999, Congressman Rangel was arrested along with two other prominent African-American leaders (civil rights activist Al Sharpton and former Mayor of New York City David Dinkins), for protesting the fatal shooting by four white New York City police officers of Amadou Diallo, an African-American.

Iraq War- Fire Donald Rumsfeld
During the week on November 13, 2003, Rangel introduced a resolution "urging President Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld for misleading the American public about how well the war and the occupation are going, and for sending American forces into battle 'without adequate planning' and showing 'a lack of sensitivity' about U.S. casualties," Maureen Dowd reported in the New York Times.

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