AOC Pushes Bill to Block Military Recruitment Funding
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced amendments to the annual defense spending
Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has proposed to block U.S. military recruitment funding, preventing them from courting middle and high school students.
The “Squad” member introduced amendments to the annual defense spending bill, which would stop military branches from interacting with potential recruits, the New York Times reported.
Currently, young people can benefit from all backgrounds of life options, such as health care, home, and business loans, and tuition-free college, by joining the military.
But AOC is seeking to limit the information available about those programs to teens by blocking the military from using federal funding to recruit in schools and request student data.
Ocasio-Cortez invoked the military's use of video games and e-sports for recruiting, accusing them of targeting financially disadvantaged youths.
“Whether through recruitment stations in their lunchrooms or now through e-sports teams, children in low-income communities are persistently targeted for enlistment,” she said.
The Democrat admitted joining the military “can for some provide a rewarding career" but claimed, “low-income Americans are not being given anywhere near the same information or access to trade schools, college or other post-graduate opportunities.”
“In many public high schools where military recruiters have a daily presence, there is not even a counselor,” she said.
“As a result, the military stops feeling like a ‘choice’ and starts feeling like the only option for many young, low-income Americans.”
Last week, the Army account discontinued broadcasting on the video game streaming platform Twitch.
Amid backlash, U.S. Army retreats from Twitch: https://t.co/OFzg07MAij pic.twitter.com/HjiazEpw43— Kotaku (@Kotaku) July 22, 2020
One of the progressive congresswoman's proposals would prohibit the use of congressionally appropriated funds by the military to “maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or live-streaming platform.”
The House Rules Committee will consider the proposals on Tuesday.
The New York Democrat’s proposal for the defense funding comes amid controversy surrounding the e-sports teams of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Military Times reported.
Each branch maintains a competitive e-sports team and an online presence as a tool for recruiting.
An Army representative told The Military Times:
“Army recruiters understand that in order to do their job, they must be visible where their audience resides,” which is why they created a presence online.
Ocasio-Cortez blasted the military’s use of video game streaming.
“War is not a game, and the Marine Corps’ decision not to engage in this recruiting tool should be a clear signal to the other branches of the military to cease this practice entirely,” she said.