The military draft may be headed for the scrap heap.
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers — several of whom sit on the committee — has already offered legislation to abolish the Selective Service System, calling it an outdated vestige of military history.
Committee officials said the authorization bill language is not geared toward keeping or eliminating the Selective Service system, but reviewing the cost and operation of a program that hasn't been used to fill the ranks since 1973.
The agency's activities cost taxpayers roughly $23 million each year, and a 2012 Government Accountability Office report questioned whether the system could even provide a list of draftees to the Defense Department if called upon to do so.
Meanwhile, military officials over the last two decades have repeatedly downplayed the idea of reviving the military draft, saying today's all-volunteer force is the most highly trained and disciplined in American history.
While returning to the draft could connect more Americans to the armed forces, it would almost certainly also dilute that skill.
Several lawmakers have also voiced plans to introduce related amendments to the authorization bill to specifically exempt women from registering for the draft, arguing that Pentagon officials haven't fully thought out the ramifications of opening combat jobs to women.
Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.