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Two House Republicans Kill Amendments To Block Diversity Enforcement in U.S. Military

Two Republican members of the US. House of Representatives broke ranks from their party to kill two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that sought to curtail diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within the military.
The aforementioned amendments were presented during a committee markup for the NDAA on Wednesday night. Despite the general party-line voting, the opposition from Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon and Ohio Rep. Mike Turner led to the amendments’ downfall in 29-30 votes.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz proposed one of these amendments, which would have blocked NDAA funds from being used for DEI training. Gaetz put forth another amendment as well, aimed at prohibiting funding for drag shows at military facilities; this one was successfully passed.

The other defeated amendment came from Missouri Rep. Mark Alford, who aimed to defund the position of the Defense Department’s top diversity officer — a role presently held by Theresa Hull, the deputy inspector general for diversity and inclusion and extremism in the military.

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Department of Defense is unnecessary and divisive,” Alford told the Washington Examiner, “With our military missing recruiting goals, we should be focused on pushing American greatness and not pronouns or gender identities. Last night’s vote was disappointing and will only exacerbate this problem. The issue is not dead, and I am not done pursuing it.”

Bacon justified his opposition in a statement to the Washington Examiner, stating that the amendments from Alford and Gaetz were “drafted too broadly and had the potential to do significant harm to long-standing DOD equal opportunity programs that ensure Department of Defense compliance with the Constitution and U.S. law.”

He further elaborated, “Last night, there were numerous NDAA amendments proposed in opposition to DOD’s excessive and often divisive emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I was proud to join my colleagues in supporting six different amendments that eliminate the position of chief diversity officer, eliminate the Countering Extremism Working Group, prohibit formal instruction on CRT at our academies, prohibit drag shows on government property, and other similar measures.”

One amendment, Bacon stated, “would have totally cut all diversity training for the military, which is unreasonable. All service members should know that racism and sexual harassment are not tolerated in our military, and you do that through training.”

Despite the failure of these two amendments, the NDAA managed to progress through the committee with a 58-1 vote; only Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna from California voted against the act.

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