Republicans introduce measure banning DEI in federal government

Congressional Republicans have introduced a bill to ban diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and funding in the federal government.

The Dismantle DEI Act, introduced Wednesday by Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), would eliminate all federal DEI programs and end DEI-related funding for agencies, contractors, organizations and educational accreditation agencies that receive federal funding.

“The DEI agenda is a destructive ideology that breeds hatred and racial division,” Vance said in a statement. “It has no place in our federal government or anywhere else in our society. I’m proud to introduce this legislation, which would root out DEI from our federal bureaucracy by eliminating such programs and stripping funding for DEI policies anywhere it exists. Americans’ tax dollars should not be co-opted to spread this radical and divisive ideology — this bill would ensure they are not.”

In 2021, President Biden issued an executive order that created a policy to “cultivate a workforce that draws from the full diversity of the Nation.”

The order also called for removing structural barriers to opportunities underserved and minority communities face.

Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas), the measure’s lead sponsor in the House, said DEI initiatives present as promoting fairness but “have instead fostered division and racial bias within our institutions and culture.”

“This bill is a necessary step to restore merit and equality, not equity, in America’s government institutions, and eliminate the DEI bureaucracy that sows division and wastes taxpayer money,” Cloud said. “It’s absurd to fund these divisive policies, especially using American’s tax dollars, and it’s time for Congress to put an end to them once and for all.”

In all, 15 House Republicans have backed the bill.

Republicans have pushed back on DEI for some time, calling it another component of a “woke” agenda.

Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law prohibiting public universities in the state from funding diversity, equity and inclusion programs and requiring commitments to diversity in statements during hiring. The legislation also eliminated majors and minors that delve into critical race theory and “radical” feminist or gender theories.

In February, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) instructed public universities in the state to stop considering DEI statements in their hiring practices.

Overall, legislation in a dozen states aimed at cutting DEI spending and rewriting hiring guidelines at colleges and universities have been introduced in legislatures around the nation.

The Dismantle DEI Act is the latest step to ban such programs at the federal level.

In March, the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion was disbanded as part of a government spending bill.

But Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who joined Vance in introducing the act, said Democrats under Biden have pushed “far-left policy that throws merit away for radical ideology.”

“Americans have had enough,” said Scott. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for federal government agencies to push their woke DEI agenda, and that is why I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Dismantle DEI Act to put an end to this misuse of taxpayer dollars once and for all.”

In addition to rescinding Biden’s 2021 executive order, the act would also eliminate the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility of the Office of Personnel Management as well as the Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council.

Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), a co-sponsor for the act, called DEI rhetoric and programs “poisonous ideology.”

“Dismantling DEI that resides deep within government agencies has been a priority of mine from day one — I’m proud to join Senator Vance in this crucial effort to rid our federal institutions of DEI programs once and for all,” he said.

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