Sen. Vance, Rep. Cloud Introduce Legislation to Dismantle DEI

Jun 14, 2024

Sen. Vance, Rep. Cloud Introduce Legislation to Dismantle DEI

The American Spectator

Mary Frances Myler | June 13, 2024

Sen. J.D. Vance and Rep. Michael Cloud introduced the Dismantle DEI Act on Wednesday, which would eliminate all federal diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and funding. Though the bill’s passage would be a significant legislative victory for Republicans, Democrats would also benefit, if only because their own political priorities have been slowed by President Joe Biden’s DEI policies. 

DEI initiatives only make sense to the truest of believers in 2020–style race radicalism. On an ideological level, implementing racial preferences at the federal level cuts against the very premise of American equality. Similarly, it makes little sense not to hire the most qualified candidate for a position, regardless of factors like race or gender. And, on a practical level, creating and administering extensive DEI bureaucracies throughout an already bloated government creates additional expenses and new delays in federal action. 

So far, the legislation proposed by Vance and Cloud has been discussed as an opportunity to bring some small shred of sanity back to our government. 

“The DEI agenda is a destructive ideology that breeds hatred and racial division,” Vance stated. “It has no place in our federal government or anywhere else in our society.”  

Heritage Action, the Heritage Foundation’s sister nonprofit advocacy organization, has voiced support for the legislation. Heritage Action Executive Vice President Ryan Walker said, “Contrary to President [Joe] Biden’s claims, DEI policies have nothing to do with equity or inclusion, and instead perpetuate the very discrimination and division the Left claims to be fighting.” 

“DEI destroys competence while making Americans into enemies[. …] This ideology must be fought, and its offices removed,” said Claremont Institute Center for the American Way of Life director Arthur Milikh.

They’re right. DEI is little more than state-sanctioned racism cloaked as social justice. The Dismantle DEI Act would apply to federal agencies, contractors who receive federal funding, recipients of federal grants, and educational accreditation entities. Additionally, the bill would ban DEI trainings and close the government DEI offices that administer them. It’s hard to imagine what military commanders will do without sessions on “male pregnancy,” or how nuclear engineers will move forward without required sessions about the “roots of white male culture,” which generated workplace norms like “hard work” and a “can-do attitude.” 

Ending federally sponsored DEI initiatives would shave millions of dollars off of the federal budget. In 2023 alone, the Biden administration requested $83 million for DEI programs at the State Department and $9.2 million for the Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility — in addition to the $16 million spent on diversity training for government employees. 

Not only would the Dismantle DEI Act reduce the waste of taxpayer dollars, but it would also eliminate barriers to policy implementation. Ironically, eliminating DEI programs would accelerate Biden’s own priorities, which have been hamstrung by onerous diversity requirements. 

Internal memos from the Department of Transportation (DOT), obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and publicized this week, reveal that Biden’s green energy agenda faces significant delays as a result of the White House’s DEI policies. The Biden administration promised to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030. A few years into the project, the DOT has only built seven. 

“These requirements are screwing everything up,” a senior Department of Transportation staffer told the Free Beacon. “It’s all a mess.”

The department must follow an executive order signed shortly after Biden took office, which mandates that 40 percent of the beneficiaries of “federal climate and environmental programs” should come from “underserved communities.” Additionally, the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council provides oversight of ongoing DOT projects. 

“These onerous diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements handcuff professionals from making proper evaluations and prevent the government/public from funding the most deserving projects, instead funneling money towards less qualified applicants,” the senior Department of Transportation official told the Free Beacon.

Clearly, some government employees are waking up to the consequences of implementing DEI with Biden’s “whole-of-government” approach. But don’t expect a pragmatic response from Democrats to the bill proposed by Vance and Cloud. After all, when it comes to the Left, their playbook isn’t hypocrisy — it’s hierarchy. 

Yes, Democrats could cut through significant red tape constraining their policy priorities by supporting the Dismantle DEI Act. But those priorities, climate or otherwise, aren’t nearly as important to progressives as the issue of race. In the end, it doesn’t matter much if the government isn’t working — as long as the right people are not working for the right reasons. 

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