Every American over the age of 18 would be required to serve the country for at least one year under a plan proposed by presidential candidate former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyDirect air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Lobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis MORE (D-Md.).
Delaney's 2020 campaign announced the Mandatory National Service plan Sunday.
Other 2020 campaigns have announced national service plans, but Delaney appears to the be only Democrat proposing mandatory required service.
Under the proposal, Americans would receive two or three years of free tuition at a public college or university in exchange for one or two years of paid public service. Salary would differ based on regional cost of living.
To meet the service requirements, 18-year-old Americans could choose from one of four options: the military, a community service program, a new National Infrastructure Apprenticeship program or newly created Climate Corps.
"It’s time to bring the country together, restore our sense of shared purpose and a common and inclusive national destiny,” Delaney said. “By mandating national service we build a future where young people begin their adult lives serving their country and working alongside people from different backgrounds."
The National Service requirement would apply to individuals born after 2006, but will phase in over time.
The community service option would operate similarly to existing AmeriCorps and Peace Corps programs, the campaign said.
Under the Infrastructure Apprenticeships, the government would enter into partnerships with private companies and trade unions to offer apprenticeships.
The Climate Corps would station participants in rural and low-income areas to assist communities in projects to transition to environmentally friendly alternatives.
According to Delaney's campaign, the proposal would benefit the nation through the projects as well as create a nationwide sense of service and patriotism.
“Our country is so terribly divided right now and it’s getting worse every day, especially when we have a White House that isn’t interested in bringing people together. We need big transformational change to stop America from dividing any further," Delaney said. "We need mandatory national service."