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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Kline Record: Military Recruiters on Campus

On February 2, 2005, just one day after presenting a lengthy account of how wonderful elections in Iraq were, John Kline managed the floor debate on H. Con. Res. 36, a bill which resolves that:

  1. Congress remains committed to the achievement of military personnel readiness through vigorous application of the requirements set forth in section 983 of title 10, United States Code, relating to equal access for military recruiters at institutions of higher education, and will explore all options necessary to maintain this commitment, including the powers vested in it under article I, section 9, of the Constitution;
  2. it is the sense of Congress that the executive branch should aggressively continue to pursue measures to challenge any decision impeding or prohibiting the operation of section 983 of title 10, United States Code; and
  3. Congress encourages the executive branch to follow the doctrine of non-acquiescence and not find a decision affecting one jurisdiction to be binding on other jurisdictions.


That is, in a manner to Kline's first piece of legislation, his HEROES bill, it suggests to institutions of higher learning the patriotic way to treat the military without actually mandating anything.

Noted. For the record, here is what Kline had to say in support of this legislation:

Mr. Speaker, while the men and women of our Armed Forces serve bravely throughout the world, the ability of our U.S. military to recruit highly qualified candidates is being put in jeopardy. As was stated so eloquently by the late Representative Gerald Solomon, barring military recruiters is an intrusion on Federal prerogatives, a slap in the face to our Nation's fine military personnel, and an impediment to sound national security policy.

The legislation bearing his name, the Solomon Amendment, formerly protected the ability of the U.S. military to reach the most highly qualified candidates by denying Federal funding, denying Federal funding to colleges which refused to permit on-campus recruiting by the U.S. military. However, on November 29 of last year, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned this legislation, enabling universities to receive Federal funding despite barring military recruiters from campus.

This decision threatens to severely damage the ability of the military to recruit the highly qualified candidates necessary during a time of war. Harvard Law School and now Yale Law School have already implemented the unjust policy of denying the military access to their campuses for recruiting purposes. Without the threat of lost funding, sadly, many other schools are expected to follow suit. The Department of Defense intends to appeal this ruling, but in the interim the military risks losing access to a vital source of highly qualified recruits. Our desire is to ensure this does not happen.

Under Article I, section 8 of the United States Constitution, Congress has the exclusive power to raise and support armies, provide and maintain a Navy, and make the rules for the Government and regulation of the Armed Forces. Congress has not only the right but the responsibility to use its power to protect the ability of our U.S. military to recruit the best and the brightest young men and women. We cannot be silent while this ability is put in jeopardy.

The citizens of the United States, all citizens of the United States, and I would argue the world, benefit from the protection of the most highly qualified and well-trained military in the world, and I am hopeful our actions today will put an end to the injustice of banning recruiters and will restore the ability of the U.S. military to serve its citizens most effectively.

(snip quite a bit of other peoples' speeches)

In closing, I would just say that we have heard some discussion today about policies of the United States Armed Forces for a long time. Since its inception, there have been special policies applied to our military, the ability to impose nonjudicial punishment, the ability to restrict entry by those who are too tall or too short, the ability to order its members away from home and into combat and into harm's way. But the discussion today is not about those policies and should not be about those policies. The discussion today is about keeping our military, keeping our Armed Forces, the best trained, the best led, the best equipped in the world; and that means we need the ability to recruit the best and the brightest. This is about insisting that our military recruiters have equal access to America's universities and colleges.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this resolution.

1 Comments:

Blogger Hammer said...

His closing is misleading. When Kline says, Since its inception, there have been special policies applied to our military, the ability to impose nonjudicial punishment, the ability to restrict entry by those who are too tall or too short, the ability to order its members away from home and into combat and into harm's way. But the discussion today is not about those policies and should not be about those policies. he ignores the fact that Harvard and Yale are barring military recruiters because they bar all employers from recruiting who don't comply with the college's non-discrimination provisions. The military won't allow homosexuals in the service. Harvard and Yale consider this discrimination. Military recruiters could have access to Harvard and Yale students if they didn't discriminate against homosexuals.

2/08/2006 08:06:00 AM  

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