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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several Democratic presidential candidates are advocating to expand public service programs in America.

Why it matters: Proponents, such as former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.), say public service builds morale and is a means of developing shared values. Their programs also claim to provide opportunities for those at the start of their careers to build skills, resumes and networks. But their approaches have an important difference.

Details: Delaney has proposed one to two years of mandatory public service for all Americans following high school graduation or at age 18. Buttigieg has proposed a voluntary program, but would increase the number of paid service opportunities from 75,000 to 250,000.

Where it stands: Countries around the world often require military or other public service during early adulthood, with occasional exceptions for those pursuing higher education or athletics.

  • Colombia requires men past the age of 18 to spend one to two years in the military based on their education and branch of service.
  • Morocco reinstated compulsory military service in 2018, requiring all citizens ages 19-25 to serve for a full year.
  • Rwanda requires all citizens to participate in a national community cleanup on the last Saturday of every month.
  • Switzerland requires men ages 18-34 to serve a basic military period of 21 weeks with annual trainings afterwards.
  • France brought back mandatory public service in 2018, requiring teens to spend one month learning first aid and emergency response skills. Participants are strongly encouraged to volunteer for continued service.
  • Israel requires military service for men and women, of up to three years.

The U.S. currently sponsors a number of civilian public service programs, including Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, which place volunteers in international and domestic locations, respectively, to work in underserved communities.

What they’re saying:

"While it would have to start voluntary, my aspiration would be that over time it becomes a program that all Americans participate in — with no exceptions and no special treatment,"
— Delaney
"Our intention is for this proposal to create a pathway towards a universal, national expectation of service for all 4 million high school graduates every year, such that the first question asked of every college freshman or new hire is: 'where did you serve?'"
— Buttigieg

Go deeper: Public servants struggle in modern America

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to clarify that Delaney's program would be mandatory and Buttigieg's voluntary, adds a quote from Buttigieg and updates the headline..

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (R) at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

3 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.