Ideas For Teachers - September 2015
Websites and videos for additional study:
Restoring the Oath of Allegiance Act
Issue #1- Should naturalized citizens have the ability to opt out of serving in the military, without giving an explanation, while saying the Oath of Allegiance?
The Obama Administration and most Democrats agree that many immigrants who are seeking to become U.S. citizens have objections to war and should have the ability to express those objections by opting out of serving in the military. They argue that many are not affiliated with a religious organization or any other organization and therefore could not obtain the proof needed for the exemption under the previous rule. Many Republicans feel this is opening the door for immigrants to opt out of serving in the military without any form of proof as to their objection while male citizens born in the U.S. must register for the draft when they turn eighteen. Students can look at and discuss the pros and cons of allowing newly naturalized citizens to opt out of serving in the military without providing proper explanations to their stance. Should male citizens born in the U.S. have the same opportunity if the draft were to be brought back?
Issue #2- Should Congress raise the debt ceiling?
Most members of Congress can agree that they cannot allow the U.S. to default on their financial obligations. The problem is how to go about making sure this doesn’t happen. Most Democrats agree that the debt ceiling needs to be raised in order to ensure that the U.S. government does not default on their debt payments. They argue that by defaulting the U.S. will lose face with the international community and would greatly hurt American citizens in numerous ways. While Republicans agree that the U.S. cannot be permitted to default they would rather see cuts to expensive government programs in order to keep the debt ceiling down. They fear by passing short term funding measures and raising the debt ceiling future generations will end up paying the price. Students can discuss the pros and cons of raising the debt ceiling vs making cuts to some expensive government programs to make room for spending. Is raising the debt ceiling only pushing the problem off so that future generations will have to deal with it?