Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is re-introducing legislation that would reinstate a military draft in the U.S. and impose a “war tax” so that Americans “feel the burden” of ongoing military operations against Islamic militants.
"Armed conflict is unpredictable, chaotic, and costly. When I served, the entire nation shared the sacrifices through the draft and increased taxes. But today, only a fraction of America shoulders the burden. If war is truly necessary, we must all come together to support and defend our nation," Rangel, who served in the Army, said Thursday in a statement. "As a Korean War veteran, I know the toll war takes."
It also calls for the reinstatement of a lottery to draft them into the military whenever an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) or declaration of war is in effect.
Meanwhile, the War Tax Act requires that current and future war funding be paid for with revenue increases.
The proposed bills comes as the Obama administration is laboring to sell its proposed AUMF against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The war powers resolution, submitted several week ago, has been panned by members of both parties and increasingly looks to be stuck in limbo.
But that isn’t stopping Rangel.
"I have long called for reinstating the military draft, simply because I believe strongly that a national decision to go to war must also include a broad commitment to share its burdens," according to Rangel, who has introduced the draft measure every Congress since 2003, when U.S. military operations began in Iraq.
"I feel the same about paying for wars,” he added. “Those making the decision to fight need to feel the burden — not just our future generations as we've done with Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Rangel estimated that the conflicts in those countries had cost the U.S. between $4 trillion and $6 trillion.
"The current attitude of 'fight now, pay later (or never)' should make us all wary of decisions to commit to wars undertaken by those who won't experience their consequences," he said. "Whenever Congress decides to fund a war or other U.S. combat activities, it must provide a means to pay for it — then and there — not later."