OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The GOP-controlled House continued on Wednesday to dismantle years’ worth of Democratic control by moving against a “wokeness” office created by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
Specifically, Republicans stripped out funding for the “House Office of Diversity and Inclusion” in the 2024 Budget Appropriations bill currently being negotiated with the Democrat-controlled Senate and the White House.
According to a description of the office: “The House of Representatives is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. In one of the first acts of the 116th Congress, the House established the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. ODI’s mission is to foster diversity among House employing offices so that the House workforce reflects the diversity of America.”
Democrats established the office in January 2019 after taking over the chamber. At the time, Pelosi said, “The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, an initiative included in the House Rules package passed at the outset of the 116th, will formulate a diversity plan for the House of Representatives, including policies to guide House offices in improving the recruitment, retention, and development of a diverse workforce.”
She added: “The Office will also act as a resource for House employing offices and increase awareness of diversity issues among Congressional staff. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is an independent and nonpartisan office.”
But the House Republican legislation “supports planned reorganization of the Chief Administrative Office, including restructuring functions of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, saving millions of taxpayer dollars.”
“DEI offices have no place in Congress or the rest of the federal government,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) said in a statement, according to Breitbart News. “I’m glad that Republicans on the Legislative Branch Subcommittee agreed with our letter and defunded House Office of Diversity and Inclusion. It is a good start, and the Anti-Woke Caucus is calling on all Republicans appropriators to follow their lead and defund DEI programs in every federal agency.”
“Congress should not be funding racist and divisive programs that further split our nation only to advance woke, left-wing propaganda,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) added in his own statement, the outlet reported.
Banks has said that American taxpayers have spent more than $3 million funding the office.
“Wokeness divides Americans by race, gender, and sexual orientation and deems so-called ‘oppressors’ responsible for all current inequality and suffering,” Banks wrote in a letter to a congressional subcommittee in March, according to Breitbart.
“It is the belief that America’s prosperity and success are built on past misdeeds. It seeks to replace the legal equality guaranteed by our Constitution with government-mandated equity, or equal outcome,” he added.
House Republicans do not have a very large majority in the chamber, but it hasn’t stopped them, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s leadership, from delivering big on the party’s promised agenda, the “Commitment to America.”
The party has managed to pass “a host of bills in the roughly four months they’ve controlled the chamber by the slightest of majority,” Just the News reported on Sunday.
During an event in Pennsylvania where he unveiled the agenda, McCarthy announced that a Republican-led House would hold a vote to eliminate federal funding for potentially 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents in response to the inclusion of such funding in the Democrats’ $780 billion Inflation Reduction Act.
The Democrats’ bill, which had been approved through budget reconciliation without Republican support, passed shortly before the GOP took over the lower chamber. Subsequently, in January, after the start of the new session of Congress, the new Republican majority passed a bill to repeal the additional IRS funding.
Presented in September 2022, the ‘commitment’ called for advancing several conservative legislative priorities and, to date, House Republicans have managed to pass most of them, as promised, the report said.