Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sessions votes against volunteerism

In a bipartisan show of support for volunteerism and national service, the House passed H.R. 1388, the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act, to reauthorize and reform the national service laws, by a yea-and-nay vote of 321 yeas to 105 nays, Roll No. 140. Pete Sessions was among those voting no.

1 comment:

John Peterson said...

I don't think that the title is accurate. Yes, he did vote against the GIVE bill. However, Mr. Sessions is a big proponent of the Boy Scouts. I would cite links, but the info is readily available by searching for "pete sessions boy scouts". So I don't think he is anti-volunteer.

I wonder if this type of bill was pushed through when Bush was in office. If so I wonder how Republicans voted then.

Volunteering is a generous act of selflessness, but I don't think that it is the governments place to say how we volunteer. Nor do I think it is the governments place to run such programs. The private sector is perfectly capable, and has done a great job in this area.

If I want to go to my local soup kitchen (which I have) and volunteer on a Sunday, I don't need the GIVE Act in place to do that. If I want to go and help people clean up their houses / gardens (which I have) I don't need a National Service law in place to do that.

On a loosely related note, what scares me about state sponsored volunteerism is what I see as the next step. When Rob Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, goes on national television and talks about a 3-month period of mandatory national service.

I apologize for how edited that video is, but even the short snippets will show that mandatory national service or universal service as he calls it is absolutely a euphemism for a draft or conscription.

I will agree, that Mr. Emanuel is not proposing drafting our youth into the military... yet... but any type of mandatory service in my opinion is the antithesis of freedom, liberty and everything our country should stand for.

Mr. Emanuel's proposal slyly gets society to accept conscription for feel good type tasks, and then one day they'll add conscription for war into the mix.

I look forward to any comments.