U.S. Congress passes Selective Service Act

U.S. Congress passes Selective Service Act


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Some six weeks after the United States formally entered the First World War, the U.S Congress passes the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917, giving the U.S. president the power to draft soldiers.

When he went before Congress on April 2, 1917, to deliver his war message, President Woodrow Wilson had pledged all of his nation’s considerable material resources to help the Allies—France, Britain, Russia and Italy—defeat the Central Powers. What the Allies desperately needed, however, were fresh troops to relieve their exhausted men on the battlefields of the Western Front, and these the U.S. was not immediately able to provide. Despite Wilson’s effort to improve military preparedness over the course of 1916, at the time of Congress’s war declaration the U.S. had only a small army of volunteers—some 100,000 men—that was in no way trained or equipped for the kind of fighting that was going on in Europe.

To remedy this situation, Wilson pushed the government to adopt military conscription, which he argued was the most democratic form of enlistment. To that end, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which Wilson signed into law on May 18, 1917. The act required all men in the U.S. between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for military service. Within a few months, some 10 million men across the country had registered in response to the military draft.

The first troops of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), under commander in chief General John J. Pershing, began arriving on the European continent in June 1917. The majority of the new conscripts still needed to be mobilized, transported and trained however, and the AEF did not begin to play a substantial role in the fighting in France until nearly a year later, during the late spring and summer of 1918. By that time, Russia had withdrawn from the conflict due to internal revolution, and the Germans had launched an aggressive new offensive on the Western Front. In the interim, the U.S. gave its allies much-needed help in the form of economic assistance: extending vast amounts of credit to Britain, France and Italy; raising income taxes to generate more revenue for the war effort; and selling so-called liberty bonds to its citizens to finance purchases of products and raw materials by Allied governments in the United States.

By the end of World War I in November 1918, some 24 million men had registered under the Selective Service Act. Of the almost 4.8 million Americans who eventually served in the war, some 2.8 million had been drafted.

READ MORE: Life in the Trenches of World War I


Selective Service System

The Selective Service System (SSS) is an independent agency of the United States government that maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription (i.e., the draft) and carries out contingency planning and preparations for two types of draft: a general draft based on registration lists of men aged 18-25, and a special-skills draft based on professional licensing lists of workers in specified health care occupations. In the event of either type of draft, the Selective Service System would send out induction notices, adjudicate claims for deferments or exemptions, and assign draftees classified as conscientious objectors to alternative service work. [2] All male U.S. citizens and immigrant non-citizens who are between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by law to have registered within 30 days of their 18th birthdays, [3] [4] and must notify the Selective Service within ten days of any changes to any of the information they provided on their registration cards, such as a change of address. [5] The Selective Service System is a contingency mechanism for the possibility that conscription becomes necessary.

Registration with Selective Service is required for various federal programs and benefits, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), student loans and Pell Grants, job training, federal employment, and naturalization. [6]

The Selective Service System provides the names of all registrants to the Joint Advertising Marketing Research & Studies (JAMRS) program for inclusion in the JAMRS Consolidated Recruitment Database. The names are distributed to the Services for recruiting purposes on a quarterly basis. [7]

Regulations are codified at Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter XVI. [8]


Contents

On June 22, 1944, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, was signed into law. Professor Edwin Amenta states:

Veterans benefits were a bargain for conservatives who feared increasingly high taxation and the extension of New Deal national government agencies. Veterans benefits would go to a small group without long-term implications for others, and programs would be administered by the VA, diverting power from New Deal bureaucracies. Such benefits were likely to hamper New Dealers in their attempts to win a postwar battle over a permanent system of social policy for everyone. [12]

During the war, politicians wanted to avoid the postwar confusion about veterans' benefits that became a political football in the 1920s and 1930s. [13] [14] Veterans' organizations that had formed after the First World War had millions of members they mobilized support in Congress for a bill that provided benefits only to veterans of military service, including men and women. Ortiz says their efforts "entrenched the VFW and the Legion as the twin pillars of the American veterans' lobby for decades." [15] [16]

Harry W. Colmery, Republican National Committee chairman and a former National Commander of the American Legion, is credited with writing the first draft of the G.I. Bill. [17] [18] He reportedly jotted down his ideas on stationery and a napkin at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. [18] A group of 8 from the Salem, Illinois American Legion have also been credited with recording their ideas for veteran benefits on napkins and paper. The group included Omar J. McMackin, Earl W. Merrit, Dr. Leonard W. Esper, George H. Bauer, William R. McCauley, James P. Ringley, A.L. Starshak and Illinois Governor, John Stelle who attended the signing ceremony with President Roosevelt. [19]

U.S. Senator Ernest McFarland, (D) AZ, and National Commander of the American Legion Warren Atherton, (R) CA were actively involved in the bill's passage and are known the "fathers of the G.I. Bill." One might then term Edith Nourse Rogers, (R) MA, who helped write and who co-sponsored the legislation, as the "mother of the G.I. Bill". As with Colmery, her contribution to writing and passing this legislation has been obscured by time. [20]

The bill that President Roosevelt initially proposed had a means test—only poor veterans would get one year of funding only top-scorers on a written exam would get four years of paid college. The American Legion proposal provided full benefits for all veterans, including women and minorities, regardless of their wealth.

An important provision of the G.I. Bill was low interest, zero down payment home loans for servicemen, with more favorable terms for new construction compared to existing housing. [21] This encouraged millions of American families to move out of urban apartments and into suburban homes. [22]

Another provision was known as the 52–20 clause for unemployment. Unemployed war veterans would receive $20 once a week for 52 weeks for up to one year while they were looking for work. Less than 20 percent of the money set aside for the 52–20 Club was distributed. Rather, most returning servicemen quickly found jobs or pursued higher education.

The recipients did not pay any income tax on the GI benefits, since they were not considered earned income. [23]

The original G.I. Bill ended in 1956. [24] A variety of benefits have been available to military veterans since the original bill, and these benefits packages are commonly referred to as updates to the G.I. Bill.

After World War II Edit

A greater percentage of Vietnam veterans used G.I. Bill education benefits (72 percent) [25] than World War II veterans (49 percent) [26] or Korean War veterans (43 percent). [25]

Canada Edit

Canada operated a similar program for its World War II veterans, with a similarly beneficial economic impact. [27]

Racial discrimination Edit

African American veterans benefited less than others from the G.I. Bill.

The G.I. Bill aimed to help American World War II veterans adjust to civilian life by providing them with benefits including low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans and financial support. African Americans did not benefit nearly as much as White Americans. Historian Ira Katznelson argues that "the law was deliberately designed to accommodate Jim Crow". [28] In the New York and northern New Jersey suburbs 67,000 mortgages were insured by the G.I. Bill, but fewer than 100 were taken out by non-whites. [29] [30]

Additionally, banks and mortgage agencies refused loans to blacks, making the G.I. Bill even less effective for blacks. [31] Once they returned from the war, blacks faced discrimination and poverty, which represented a barrier to harnessing the mortgage and educational benefits of the G.I. Bill, because labor and income were immediately needed at home.

Most southern university principals refused to admit blacks until the Civil Rights revolution. Segregation was legally mandated in that region. Colleges accepting blacks in the South initially numbered 100. Those institutions were of lower quality, with 28 of them classified as sub-baccalaureate. Only seven states offered post-baccalaureate training, while no accredited engineering or doctoral programs were available for blacks. These institutions were all smaller than white or nonsegregated universities, often facing a lack of resources. [32]

By 1946, only one fifth of the 100,000 blacks who had applied for educational benefits had been registered in college. [31] Furthermore, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) came under increased pressure as rising enrollments and strained resources forced them to turn away an estimated 20,000 veterans. HBCUs were already the poorest colleges. HBCU resources were stretched even thinner when veterans' demands necessitated an expansion in the curriculum beyond the traditional "preach and teach" course of study. [31]

Though blacks encountered many obstacles in their pursuit of G.I. benefits, the bill greatly expanded the population of African Americans attending college and graduate school. In 1940, enrollment at Black colleges was 1.08% of total U.S. college enrollment. By 1950 it had increased to 3.6%. However, these gains were limited almost exclusively to Northern states, and the educational and economic gap between white and black nationally widened under the effects of the G.I. Bill. [33] With 79 percent of the black population living in southern states, educational gains were limited to a small part of black America. [31]

Merchant marine Edit

Congress did not include the merchant marine veterans in the original G.I. Bill, even though they were considered military personnel in times of war in accordance with the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. As President Roosevelt (Democrat) signed the G.I. Bill in June 1944 he said, "I trust Congress will soon provide similar opportunities to members of the merchant marine who have risked their lives time and time again during war for the welfare of their country." Now that the youngest World War II veterans are in their 90s, efforts have been made to recognize the merchant mariners' contributions by giving some benefits to the remaining survivors. In 2007, three different bills to address this issue were introduced in Congress, of which one only passed in the House of Representatives. [34] The Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2007 establishes Merchant Mariner equality compensation payments by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs of a monthly benefit of $1,000 to each individual who, between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946, was a documented member of the U.S. Merchant Marine (including Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service). This bill was introduced to the House by Rep. Bob Filner (D-California) in 2007 and passed the House but not the Senate so did not become law. [35] Another attempt to notice Merchant Marines in the G.I. Bill was the 21st Century GI Bill of Rights Act of 2007, introduced by Sen. Hillary Clinton, Entitles basic educational assistance to Armed Forces or reserves who, after September 11, 2001: (1) are deployed overseas or (2) serve for an aggregate of at least two years or, before such period, are discharged due to a service-connected disability, hardship, or certain medical conditions. Entitles such individuals to 36 months of educational assistance. [36] Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Florida) got the house to pass easier access to the GI Bill by "verifying honorable service as a coast-wise merchant seaman between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, for purposes of eligibility for veterans' benefits under the GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977." It passed the House and went no further. [37]

Colleges that target veterans Edit

After the GI Bill was instituted in the 1940s, a number of "fly-by-night" vocational schools were created. Some of these for-profit colleges still target veterans, who are excluded from the 90-10 rule for federal funding. This loophole encourages for-profit colleges to target and aggressively recruit veterans and their families. [38] [39] [40] Legislative efforts to close the 90-10 loophole have failed. [41] [42]

According to the GI Bill Comparison Tool, the largest recipients of GI Bill Funds are

Lead generators like QuinStreet have also acted as third parties to recruit veterans for subprime colleges. [43] [44] [45]

All veteran education programs are found in law in Title 38 of the United States Code. Each specific program is found in its own Chapter in Title 38.

Unlike scholarship programs, the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) requires a financial commitment from the service member. However, if the benefit is not used, the service member cannot recoup whatever money was paid into the system.

In some states, the National Guard does offer true scholarship benefits, regardless of past or current MGIB participation.

Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill) Edit

In 1984, former Mississippi Democratic Congressman Gillespie V. "Sonny" Montgomery revamped the G.I. Bill. [46] From 1984 until 2008, this version of the law was called "The Montgomery G.I. Bill". The Montgomery GI Bill — Active Duty (MGIB) stated that active duty members had to forfeit $100 per month for 12 months if they used the benefits, they received as of 2012 [update] $1564 monthly as a full-time student (tiered at lower rates for less-than-full-time) for a maximum of 36 months of education benefits. This benefit could be used for both degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, and correspondence courses if the veteran was enrolled full-time. Part-time veteran students received less, but for a proportionately longer period. [47] This meant that for every month the veteran received benefits at the half-time, the veteran's benefits were only charged for 1/2 of a month. Veterans from the reserve had different eligibility requirements and different rules on receiving benefits (see Ch. 1606, Ch. 1607 and Ch. 33). MGIB could also be used while active, which only reimbursed the cost of tuition and fees. Each service has additional educational benefit programs for active duty members. Most delay using MGIB benefits until after separation, discharge or retirement. [ citation needed ]

"Buy-Up" option Edit

The "Buy-Up" option, also known as the "kicker", allows active duty members to forfeit up to $600 more toward their MGIB. For every dollar the service member contributes, the federal government contributes $8. Those who forfeit the maximum ($600) will receive, upon approval, an additional $150 per month for 36 months, or a total of $5400. This allows the veteran to receive $4,800 in additional funds ($5400 total minus the $600 contribution to receive it), but not until after leaving active duty. The additional contribution must be made while still on active duty. It is available for G.I. Bill recipients using either Ch. 30 or Ch. 1607, but cannot be extended beyond 36 months if a combination of G.I. Bill programs are used. [48]

Time limit/eligibility Edit

MGIB benefits may be used up to 10 years from the date of last discharge or release from active duty. The 10-year period can be extended by the amount of time a service member was prevented from training during that period because of a disability or because he/she was held by a foreign government or power.

The 10-year period can also be extended if one reenters active duty for 90 days or more after becoming eligible. The extension ends 10 years from the date of separation from the later period. Periods of active duty of fewer than 90 days qualify for extensions only if one was separated for one of the following:

  • A service-connected disability
  • A medical condition existing before active duty
  • Hardship

For those eligible based on two years of active duty and four years in the Selected Reserve (also known as "call to service"), they have 10 years from their release from active duty, or 10 years from the completion of the four-year Selected Reserve obligation to use MGIB benefits.

At this time, service members cannot recoup any monies paid into the MGIB program should it not be utilized.

Top-up option Edit

Service members may use GI bill in conjunction with Military Tuition Assistance (MilTA) to help with payments above the MilTA CAP. This will reduce the total benefit available once the member leaves service. Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-377, January 4, 2011), Section 111, amended Title 38, U.S. Code, by adding section 3322(h), "Bar to Duplication of Eligibility Based on a Single Event or Period of Service," which does not allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish eligibility for a Service Member under more than one education benefit. If a service member applies for Montgomery GI Bill benefits (such as the Top-up option to augment Tuition Assistance) and entered service on/after August 1, 2011, then they must incur a subsequent period of service to convert to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If the service member cannot incur another period of service, they are not eligible to convert. The VA considers a service member has elected a GI Bill upon submission of VA Form 22-1990.and VA approval and issues a Certificate of Eligibility. [49]

Educational Edit

  • College, business
  • Technical or vocational courses
  • Correspondence courses
  • Apprenticeship/job training
  • Flight training (usually limited to 60% for Ch. 30, see Ch. 33 for more flight information)

Under this bill, benefits may be used to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at a college or university, a cooperative training program, or an accredited independent study program leading to a degree.

Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation Program) Edit

"Chapter 31" is a vocational rehabilitation program that serves eligible active duty servicemembers and veterans with service-connected disabilities. [50] This program promotes the development of suitable, gainful employment by providing vocational and personal adjustment counseling, training assistance, a monthly subsistence allowance during active training, and employment assistance after training. Independent living services may also be provided to advance vocational potential for eventual job seekers, or to enhance the independence of eligible participants who are presently unable to work.

In order to receive an evaluation for Chapter 31 vocational rehabilitation and/or independent living services, those qualifying as a "servicemember" must have a memorandum service-connected disability rating of 20% or greater and apply for vocational rehabilitation services. [51] Those qualifying as "veterans" must have received, or eventually receive, an honorable or other-than-dishonorable discharge, have a VA service-connected disability rating of 10% or more, and apply for services. Law provides for a 12-year basic period of eligibility in which services may be used, which begins on latter of separation from active military duty or the date the veteran was first notified of a service-connected disability rating. In general, participants have 48 months of program entitlement to complete an individual vocational rehabilitation plan. Participants deemed to have a "serious employment handicap" will generally be granted exemption from the 12-year eligibility period and may receive additional months of entitlement as necessary to complete approved plans.

Chapter 32 (Veterans Educational Assistance Program) Edit

The Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) is available for those who first entered active duty between January 1, 1977, and June 30, 1985, and elected to make contributions from their military pay to participate in this education benefit program. Participants' contributions are matched on a $2 for $1 basis by the Government. [52] This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses.

Chapter 33 (Post-9/11) Edit

Congress, in the summer of 2008, approved an expansion of benefits beyond the current G.I. Bill program for military veterans serving since the September 11, 2001 attacks originally proposed by Democratic Senator Jim Webb. Beginning in August 2009, recipients became eligible for greatly expanded benefits, or the full cost of any public college in their state. The new bill also provides a housing allowance and $1,000 a year stipend for books, among other benefits. [53]

The VA announced in September 2008 that it would manage the new benefit itself instead of hiring an outside contractor after protests by veteran's organizations and the American Federation of Government Employees. Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake stated that although it was "unfortunate that we will not have the technical expertise from the private sector," the VA "can and will deliver the benefits program on time." [54]

President Obama Launches Post-9/11 GI Bill August 3, 2009 | 12:01

President Obama marks the launch of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which will provide comprehensive education benefits to our veterans. The bill will provide our veterans the skills and trainings they need to be successful in the future, and is part of the Presidents plan to build a new foundation for the 21st century. August 3, 2009. [55]

In December 2010 Congress passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2010. The new law, often referred to as G.I. Bill 2.0, expands eligibility for members of the National Guard to include time served on Title 32 or in the full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR). It does not, however, cover members of the Coast Guard Reserve who have served under Title 14 orders performing duties comparable to those performed by National Guard personnel under Title 32 orders.

The new law also includes:

enrollment periods. In this case if the veteran is full-time, and his or her maximum BAH rate is $1500 per month, then he or she will receive (13/30)x$1500 = $650 for the end of the first period of enrollment, then the veteran will receive (10/30)x$1500 = $500 for the beginning of the second period of enrollment. Effectively, the change in break-pay means the veteran will receive $1150 per month for August instead of $1500 per month. This has a significant impact in December - January BAH payments since most Colleges have 2-4 week breaks.

Another change enables active-duty servicemembers and their G.I. Bill-eligible spouses to receive the annual $1,000 book stipend (pro-rated for their rate of pursuit), adds several vocational, certification and OJT options, and removes the state-by-state tuition caps for veterans enrolled at publicly funded colleges and universities.

Changes to Ch. 33 also includes a new $17,500 annual cap on tuition and fees coverage for veterans attending private colleges and foreign colleges and universities. [56]

Chapter 34 (Vietnam Era G.I. Bill) Edit

The Vietnam Era G.I. Bill provided educational assistance for service members serving on Active Duty for more than 180 days with any portion of that time falling between January 31, 1955 and January 1, 1977. To be eligible, service members must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. There was no service member contribution for this program like Chapter 30 or 32. This program was sunset on December 31, 1989. [57] [58]

Chapter 35 (Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program) Edit

The Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) Program delivers education and training advantages to dependents from eligible resources to veterans who have either have a terminal illness due to a service-related condition, or who were called to active duty or had a disability related to serving in the American forces in the United States. [59] That program gives around 50 months of education benefits. However, there are still more opportunities. The benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on the job training. Wives of veterans and former wives are offered free courses occasionally.

Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill- Selective Reserve) Edit

The Montgomery G.I. Bill — Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) program may be available to members of the Selected Reserve, including all military branch reserve components as well as the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. This benefit may be used for degree and certificate programs, flight training, apprenticeship/on-the-job training and correspondence courses. [60]

Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program) Edit

The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) was available to all reservists who, after September 11, 2001, complete 90 days or more of active duty service "in support of contingency operations." This benefit provided reservists return from active duty with up to 80% of the active duty (Chapter 30) G.I. Bill benefits as long as they remained active participants in the reserves. [61] Chapter 1607 was sunset on November 25th, 2019 to make way for the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. [62]

Type Active Duty MGIB Chapter 30 Active Duty Chap 30 Top-up Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Chapter 33 Voc Rehab Chapter 31 VEAP Chapter 32 DEA Chapter 35 Selected Reserve Chapter 1606 Selected Reserve (REAP) Chapter 1607 Additional Benefits Tuition Assistance Additional Benefits Student Loan Repayment Program
Info link [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [65] [65] [68] [69] [70] [71] [65] [72]

While in the Selected Reserve. If separated from Ready Reserve for disability which was not result of willful misconduct, for 10 yrs after date of entitlement.

The State of California has an 85-15 rule that aims to prevent predatory for-profit colleges and "fly-by-night schools" from targeting veterans. [83]

In 2012, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13607 to ensure that military service members, veterans, and their families would not be aggressively targeted by sub-prime colleges. [84]

The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains a website for veterans to compare colleges that use the GI Bill, in order to use their educational benefits wisely. [85]

VA also has a GI Bill Feedback System for veterans to lodge their complaints about schools they are attending. [86]


U.S. Congress passes Selective Service Act

Some six weeks after the United States formally entered the First World War, the U.S Congress passes the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917, giving the U.S. president the power to draft soldiers.

When he went before Congress on April 2, 1917, to deliver his war message, President Woodrow Wilson had pledged all of his nation's considerable material resources to help the Allies—France, Britain, Russia and Italy—defeat the Central Powers. What the Allies desperately needed, however, were fresh troops to relieve their exhausted men on the battlefields of the Western Front, and these the U.S. was not immediately able to provide. Despite Wilson's effort to improve military preparedness over the course of 1916, at the time of Congress's war declaration the U.S. had only a small army of volunteers—some 100,000 men—that was in no way trained or equipped for the kind of fighting that was going on in Europe.

To remedy this situation, Wilson pushed the government to adopt military conscription, which he argued was the most democratic form of enlistment. To that end, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which Wilson signed into law on May 18, 1917. The act required all men in the U.S. between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for military service. Within a few months, some 10 million men across the country had registered in response to the military draft.

General John J. Pershing

The first troops of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), under commander in chief General John J. Pershing, began arriving on the European continent in June 1917. The majority of the new conscripts still needed to be mobilized, transported and trained however, and the AEF did not begin to play a substantial role in the fighting in France until nearly a year later, during the late spring and summer of 1918. By that time, Russia had withdrawn from the conflict due to internal revolution, and the Germans had launched an aggressive new offensive on the Western Front. In the interim, the U.S. gave its allies much-needed help in the form of economic assistance: extending vast amounts of credit to Britain, France and Italy raising income taxes to generate more revenue for the war effort and selling so-called liberty bonds to its citizens to finance purchases of products and raw materials by Allied governments in the United States.


S.1260 - United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 117th Congress (2021-2022) |

There is one summary for S.1260. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here: Introduced in Senate (04/20/2021)

Endless Frontier Act

This bill establishes a Directorate for Technology and Innovation in the National Science Foundation (NSF) and establishes various programs and activities.

The goals of the directorate shall be, among other things, the strengthening of U.S. leadership in critical technologies through basic research in key technology focus areas, such as artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and advanced manufacturing, and the commercialization of those technologies to businesses in the United States.

The bill gives the NSF the authority to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information within the United States concerning the NSF&rsquos activities and the results of those activities.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy shall annually develop a strategy for the federal government to improve national competitiveness in science, research, and innovation to support the national security strategy.

The Department of Commerce shall (1) establish a supply chain resiliency and crisis response program to address supply chain gaps and vulnerabilities in critical industries, (2) designate regional technology hubs to facilitate activities that support regional economic development that diffuses innovation around the United States, and (3) award grants to facilitate development and implementation of comprehensive regional technology strategies.

The bill extends through FY2026 the Manufacturing USA Program and expands such program to support innovation and growth in domestic manufacturing.


Controversy and Decline

As the Young Lords Party grew and expanded their operations, one branch of the organization became known as the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization. The PPRWO was explicitly anti-capitalist, pro-union, and pro-communist. As a result of these stances, the PPRWO came under scrutiny by the U.S. government and was infiltrated by the FBI. The extremism of certain factions of the party led to increased member infighting. The Young Lords Party's membership declined, and the organization was essentially disbanded by 1976.


Selective Service Act

The Selective Service Act established the first peacetime conscription in United States history. The Act passed the U.S. Congress on May 18, 1917 and gave the President the power to draft soldiers. The Selective Service Act required that men between the ages 21 and 30 register with local draft boards. (The age range was later changed to 18-45.)

World War I

In his war message on April 2, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson pledged all the nation's "material resources" to the Allied war effort. But what the Allies most urgently needed were fresh troops. Few Americans, however, rushed to volunteer for military service.

By the end of WWI, some 24 million men had registered, and some 2.8 million had been drafted. In fact, more than half of the almost 4.8 million Americans who served in the armed forces were drafted.

World War II

The draft began again in November 1940, a year before the United States formally entered World War II. This legislation has been heralded as one of the most influential pieces of racial legislation in its time as it moved the American army in the direction of integration. By providing ". that any person between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five regardless of race or color shall be afforded an opportunity to enlist. " Despite this progress, the Wagner Amendment did nothing to provide for integrating units.

Though the United States halted conscription in 1973, the Selective Service remains as a means to register American males upon reaching the age of 18 as a contingency should the measure be reintroduced.


The First Act of the First Congress

When the First Congress met in New York City in March of 1789, they faced an enormous undertaking. The new Constitution had just been ratified, and Congress was the first part of the new federal government to meet and take shape. Ahead of them lay numerous important and urgent tasks: they needed to create the Treasury, War, and Foreign Affairs departments the federal judiciary and a system of taxation and collection. They also needed to determine patent and copyright laws, rules for naturalization, the location of a new capital city, administration of the census, amendments to the Constitution, and much more.

But before the members of Congress could get to all of this pressing business, there was something more important they needed to do–so important that it was the first bill introduced in the House of Representatives, and the first act signed into law by President George Washington.

“An Act to Regulate the Time and Manner of Administering Certain Oaths” was signed into law on June 1, 1789. It prescribed the text of and procedure for the administration of the oath of office.

The act mandated that the oath be administered in the following form: “I, A.B. do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” This simple, straightforward oath fulfilled the constitutional requirement outlined in Article VI, clause 3:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…

Although today it might seem fundamental to require an oath prior to the assumption of public office, the Founders didn’t all agree on the need. At the Constitutional Convention, Delegate James Wilson of Pennsylvania said of oaths, “A good government did not need them and a bad one could not or ought not to be supported.”

The Founders also debated who should take the oath, and came down with a firm statement of federal supremacy. The Constitution required not just federal officers to take the oath to support the Constitution, but also state officials.

This oath remained intact until the Civil War. In 1862, concerns about sabotage by southern sympathizers compelled Congress to rewrite the oath of office in an attempt to keep disloyal persons out of public office. In a law that became known as the Iron Clad Test Oath, Congress compelled new officials to swear not only that they would support the Constitution in the future, but also that they had in the past. Although originally exempted, members of Congress began taking the new oath in 1864.

After the end of the Civil War in 1865, there were almost immediate problems in Congress when former Confederate states returned to the Union. Many of the new members had served the Confederacy and could not take the Iron Clad Test Oath in good faith. In 1868, as the nation was trying to come back together, the law was changed to allow former Confederates to skip the first part of the oath which verified previous loyalty.

In 1884, the Iron Clad Test Oath was repealed. The second part of the oath, which contained a promise of faithful support of the Constitution in the future, remained. This is the oath that federal and state officials take today.

Share these documents with your students, and use these questions to start a class discussion about oaths of office:

  • Before sharing the documents, ask your students to hypothesize about the subject of the very first act of Congress in 1789. To get them thinking about the kind of business Congress had to do, share some examples from the first paragraph above.
  • What is an oath of office? Why do public officials take it?
  • Why would an oath of office act be the first act of Congress?
  • What prompted the change to the oath in 1862? Direct students to research examples of suspected sabotage by public officials from the Civil War.
  • What do students think of the current oath? Would they change it? How? Why?

The Center for Legislative Archives is marking the 225 th Anniversary of the First Congress by sharing documents from this formative time via Tumblr, Twitter, and Education Updates. Follow #Congress225 for more documents you can use in your classroom.

You can see Daniel Inouye’s oath of office and others on display now in “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.


Footnotes

1 Phil Casey, “Rep. Edith Rogers, 79, Dies Served in House 35 Years,” 11 September 1960, Washington Post: B12.

2 Rudolf Engelbarts, Women in the United States Congress, 1917–1972 (Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1974): 33.

3 “John Jacob Rogers, Bay State Member of Congress, Dead,” 29 March 1925, Washington Post: 1 “A Friend of the Foreign Service,” 31 March 1925, New York Times: 18.

4 Frances Mangum, “Congresswoman Good Friend to War Veterans,” 23 January 1934, Washington Post: 11.

5 Elisabeth Ellicott Poe, “‘Angel of Walter Reed’ to Return to Washington as Congresswoman,” 12 July 1925, Washington Post: SM1.

6 “Mrs. Rogers Seeking Election to Congress on Service Goal,” 26 June 1925, Christian Science Monitor: 5.

7 “J.J. Rogers’ Widow Seeks His House Seat,” 8 April 1925, Washington Post: 3.

8 “Election of Mrs. Rogers Wins Praise of State Dry League,” 1 July 1925, Christian Science Monitor: 7 “J.J. Rogers’ Widow Nominated for House,” 17 June 1925, Washington Post: 1 “House Election Primaries Near,” 10 June 1925, Christian Science Monitor: 5.

9 Poe, “‘Angel of Walter Reed’ to Return to Washington as Congresswoman.”

10 “Women Office Holders Are Now Coming From the Home,” 12 July 1925, New York Times: X3.

11 Special election statistics from Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1998): 458 “Mrs. Rogers Beats Foss by Two-to-One Vote In Bay State Election for Representative,” 1 July 1925, New York Times: 1 “Mrs. Rogers Wins Election to House,” 1 July 1925, Washington Post: 1.

12 Dorothy M. Brown, “Rogers, Edith Nourse,” American National Biography 18 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999): 752–753 “Election of Mrs. Rogers Wins Praise of State Dry League.”

13 Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, “Election Statistics, 1920 to Present.”

14 “Bay State Congress Woman Most Tireless Worker on Hill,” 18 October 1933, Washington Post: 9 “Women Office Holders Are Now Coming From the Home.”

15 Annabel Paxton, Women in Congress (Richmond: Dietz Press, 1945): 46 “Would Dress Up Soldiers and Aid Manufacturers,” 20 June 1929, New York Times: 22 “Women House Members End Session With Achievement,” 28 February 1931, Washington Post: 8 “Mrs. Rogers Seeks Tariff Findings on Japanese Textiles,” 22 December 1936, Christian Science Monitor: 9.

16 “House Hails ‘First G.O.P. Lady,’” 1 July 1950, New York Times: 8.

17 David T. Canon et al., Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1789–1946, vol. 3 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2002): 894. Based on Charles Stewart’s relative rankings in “Committee Hierarchies in the Modernizing House, 1875–1947,” American Journal of Political Science 36 (No. 4, November 1992): 835–856.

19 Brown, “Rogers, Edith Nourse”: 752–753 “Offers Revisions in Veterans’ Care: Mrs. Rogers Suggests Nursing and Physicians Corps as a Permanent Adjunct,” 27 August 1943, New York Times: 14.

20 “Veteran’s Tribute to Representative Edith Nourse Rogers,” 15 May 1930, Washington Post: 6 Hope Chamberlin, A Minority of Members: Women in the U.S. Congress (New York: Praeger, 1973): 59.

21 Congressional Record, House, 77th Cong., 1st sess. (28 May 1941): 4531–4533 Congressional Record, House, 77th Cong., 1st sess. (12 December 1941): 9747.


U.S. Congress passes Selective Service Act - May 18, 1917 - HISTORY.com

TSgt Joe C.

Some six weeks after the United States formally entered the First World War, the U.S Congress passes the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917, giving the U.S. president the power to draft soldiers.

When he went before Congress on April 2, 1917, to deliver his war message, President Woodrow Wilson had pledged all of his nation’s considerable material resources to help the Allies—France, Britain, Russia and Italy—defeat the Central Powers. What the Allies desperately needed, however, were fresh troops to relieve their exhausted men on the battlefields of the Western Front, and these the U.S. was not immediately able to provide. Despite Wilson’s effort to improve military preparedness over the course of 1916, at the time of Congress’s war declaration the U.S. had only a small army of volunteers—some 100,000 men—that was in no way trained or equipped for the kind of fighting that was going on in Europe.

To remedy this situation, Wilson pushed the government to adopt military conscription, which he argued was the most democratic form of enlistment. To that end, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which Wilson signed into law on May 18, 1917. The act required all men in the U.S. between the ages of 21 and 30 to register for military service. Within a few months, some 10 million men across the country had registered in response to the military draft.

The first troops of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), under commander in chief General John J. Pershing, began arriving on the European continent in June 1917. The majority of the new conscripts still needed to be mobilized, transported and trained however, and the AEF did not begin to play a substantial role in the fighting in France until nearly a year later, during the late spring and summer of 1918. By that time, Russia had withdrawn from the conflict due to internal revolution, and the Germans had launched an aggressive new offensive on the Western Front. In the interim, the U.S. gave its allies much-needed help in the form of economic assistance: extending vast amounts of credit to Britain, France and Italy raising income taxes to generate more revenue for the war effort and selling so-called liberty bonds to its citizens to finance purchases of products and raw materials by Allied governments in the United States.

By the end of World War I in November 1918, some 24 million men had registered under the Selective Service Act. Of the almost 4.8 million Americans who eventually served in the war, some 2.8 million had been drafted.

U.S. Congress passes Selective Service Act - May 18, 1917 - HISTORY.com

Watch the full-length episode at http://video.pbs.org/video/2365472163/?Utm_source=youtube&utm_medium=pbsofficial&utm_campaign=draf_covefullprogram (US Only).

Thank you for reminding us TSgt Joe C. that the United States Congress passed the Selective Service Act on May 18, 1917, giving the U.S. president the power to draft soldiers.
I turned in my "Draft Card" in October 1974 when I entered the U.S. Army delayed entry program. I exercised my enlistment contract on November 11, 1974 as a 12B combat engineer.

Background from encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/selective_service_act
"Version 1.0|Last updated 08 October 2014
Selective Service Act by Michael Geheran
The Selective Service Act of 1917 was the official name of the military draft signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson following the United States’ entry into World War I. It authorized the federal government to expand the American armed services through conscription and was responsible for drafting approximately 2.8 million men into the U.S. military by November 1918.

President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) signed the Selective Service Act into law on 18 May 1917. It authorized the federal government to expand the armed forces through conscription following the United States’ declaration of war on Germany. At the time of the U.S. entry into World War I, the regular army consisted of 127,000 active duty soldiers along with 181,000 reservists in the National Guard, a force wholly inadequate to decisively influence the strategic outcome of the war in Europe. The total force raised by the end of the war numbered 4,412,533 men, including 3,893,340 soldiers, 462,229 sailors, 54,690 marines, and 2,294 Coast Guard troops. Of the 3,893,340 soldiers, 2,810,296 – some 72 percent – had been conscripted under the Selective Service Act.[1]

1917 marked the first time since the American Civil War that the federal government mandated a national draft. While many Western European countries regarded universal conscription as a civic duty and a cornerstone of democratic society, many Americans viewed compulsory military service as an infringement on their civil liberties. The Civil War era draft had been immensely unpopular with the American public. Its most controversial provision allowed draftees to opt out of performing military service by hiring a substitute, a caveat that overwhelmingly benefitted the wealthy. Moreover, the draft had been administered by army officers operating under a quota system, an arrangement known to have encouraged corruption and the coercion of volunteers. Opposition to the draft provoked four days of rioting in New York City in 1863 and resulted in repeated incidents of physical violence against federal officials. The controversial legacy of the Civil War draft reinforced Americans’ distrust of state power and contributed to the continued U.S. reliance on a small, professional army backed by state militias for national defense.

Implementation↑
President Wilson initially sought to avoid imposing a draft and proposed to raise a volunteer force of 1 million men. It was clear that this plan had failed, however, when six weeks later only 73,000 men had volunteered. A plan put forward by former president Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) to raise and lead a volunteer force to fight in Europe, which posed an obvious challenge to the president’s authority, may have further convinced Wilson of the necessity of conscription. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker (1871-1937) was thus tasked with crafting a law that balanced the manpower requirements of the armed forces with widespread domestic concerns over civil liberties. The resulting bill was a radical departure from the Civil War draft. First, it eliminated provisions for substitutes, most exemptions, and enlistment bounties. Second, although the draft contained a legal prohibition against class and group exemptions, skilled workers deemed vital to the national economy were eligible for deferments. A provision was also made for ministers and divinity students, who were permitted to serve in non-combat roles if they belonged to a recognized religion with pacifism as one of its central tenets. Third, unlike in the Civil War, the administration of the draft was placed in civilian control. Draft boards were typically comprised of local officials drawn from pre-existing voting precincts. In theory, if not in practice, they were empowered to issue draft calls and grant deferments based on essential occupations.

The federal government officially designated 5 June 1917 as “Registration Day.” On that date, all males between the ages of twenty-one and thirty were required to register for the “great national lottery,” drawing numbers that determined the order in which they were called for military service. Despite the legal prohibition against preferential treatment, local draft selections often reflected disparities along the lines of social class, race, and ethnicity. Draft boards disproportionately selected immigrants, poor rural farmers, and African-Americans for military service, groups widely deemed expendable by local community leaders, while largely exempting the upper classes.

Dissent↑
Resistance to the draft was significant, especially in rural areas. In addition to the 337,649 “draft deserters” who refused to report for military service, political opposition came from both parties, labor unions, women’s organizations, and interest groups on the political left. Progressive Democrats from Wilson’s party also questioned the government’s authority over individual freedoms, arguing that compulsory service would destroy “democracy at home while fighting for it abroad.” Opponents of the draft challenged the new law in federal court, arguing that it directly violated the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude. However, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the draft act in the Selective Service Draft Law Cases on 7 January 1918. The unanimous decision reaffirmed that the Constitution empowered Congress to declare war and to raise and supply armies.

The original law was amended by Secretary of War Baker in August 1918. It broadened the age range to include all men between eighteen and forty-five and included a provision that allowed conscientious objectors to opt for alternate, non-combat military service. By the end of World War I, some 24 million men had been registered of these 2.8 million were actually drafted into the armed forces. Despite the inequities of local draft selections and persisting controversies over universal conscription, the Selective Service Act was generally well received by the American public. It constituted a key component of the U.S. war effort, enabling the AEF to deploy some 1 million men to France by June 1918.

Michael Geheran, Clark University
Section Editor: Lon Strauss

Notes
↑ United States Provost Marshal General’s Bureau: Second Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War on the Operations of the Selective Service System to December 20, 1918, Washington, D.C. 1919, p. 227.
Selected Bibliography
Chambers, John Whiteclay: To raise an army. The draft comes to modern America, New York London 1987: Free Press Collier Macmillan.
Coffman, Edward M.: The war to end all wars. The American military experience in World War I, Lexington 1998: University Press of Kentucky.
Flynn, George Q.: Conscription and democracy. The draft in France, Great Britain, and the United States, Westport 2002: Greenwood Press.
Keene, Jennifer D.: Doughboys, the Great War, and the remaking of America, Baltimore 2001: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Millett, Allan Reed / Maslowski, Peter: For the common defense. A military history of the United States of America, New York London 1984: Free Press Collier Macmillan.
Stewart, Richard W. (ed.): American military history. The United States Army in a global era, 1917-2008, volume 2, Washington, D. C. 2010: Center of Military History, U.S. Army.
United States Provost Marshal General’s Bureau: Second report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War on the operations of the Selective Service System to December 20, 1918, Washington 1919: G.P.O..
Citation
Geheran, Michael: Selective Service Act , in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2014-10-08. DOI: 10.15463/ie1418.10414.

License
This text is licensed under: CC by-NC-ND 3.0 Germany - Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivative Works."