- President Joe Biden staunchly opposed provisions in the current versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2024 that defunded some of the Pentagon’s diversity efforts.
- A top policy group is concerned the president’s official opposition shows that he will not budge from policies that could hurt the military.
- “Opposition to attempts to defund or discontinue advisory committees promoting CRT and DEI mandates confirms the leftist ideology of this administration,” Elaine Donnelly, founder of the Center for Military Readiness, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
President Joe Biden’s response to the draft defense policy bills that emerged in the House and Senate this week confirm the administration’s deep-seated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) over merit and biological realities, according to a prominent group focusing on military and social issues.
The administration noted strong opposition to a raft of GOP-led provisions in the House and Senate defense bills for fiscal year 2024 that took aim at the allegedly woke military in official statements on July 10 and July 18, respectively. Based on the administration’s opposition, it appears Biden has taken an official stand in favor of evaluating servicemembers based on race or other factors rather than competence, blocking restitution to those discharged or punished for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine and continuing to maintain highly-paid civilian employees solely focused on DEI, the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The official positions taken above conclusively prove that the Biden administration is fully committed to expansion of wokeism in the military, defined as: ‘Progressive policies taken to extremes, with coercion, even if it hurts the institution,’” Elaine Donelly, CMR’s founder and president, told the DCNF.
House Republicans introduced provisions aimed at gutting the DEI agenda from the military in the draft National Defense Authorization Act for 2024, which ultimately moved forward by a narrow margin. These involved putting a cap on salaries for DEI personnel, banning training or educational materials promoting CRT, prohibited federal funding of drag queen story hours, sunsetting the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, defunding the Counter-Extremism Working Group and eliminating the DOD’s chief diversity officer position.
One provision banned race and gender-based recruiting quotas and outlawed the military from considering the race or gender of recruits.
“The Administration strongly opposes the House’s sweeping attempts to eliminate the Department’s longstanding DEIA efforts and related initiatives to promote a cohesive and inclusive force,” the document stated, arguing it would put the department at a “strategic disadvantage.”
“The administration’s Statement fails to explain how drag queens and transgender policies allowing biological men to enter the private facilities and showers of military women help to create what it describes as a ‘A dignified, respectful, and safe workplace.,’” Donnelly said.
Similar provisions were advanced in the Senate Armed Services Committee’s draft.
The House bill seeks to exempt service academy cadets and midshipmen booted for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine from being required to repay tuition after three Air Force cadets nearly found themselves on the hook for up to $200,000 in unexpected costs, codified protections for current servicemember whose transgressions solely include spurning the vaccine and reevaluating the characterization of discharges for those who were forced out.
The tuition and protections amendments set “dangerous” precedents “that not following lawful orders is an option for service members, which will be deleterious to good order and discipline as well as unit cohesion,” the president argued. The final would prioritize COVID-19 related records alterations over other corrections requests, he said.
“The administration’s opposition to congressional efforts to reimburse or reinstate servicemembers or people who wanted to join or remain as cadets or midshipmen in the military service academies puts the lie to [White House spokesperson John Kirby] disingenuous assertion … that ‘taking care’ of military men and women, especially those seeking subsidized abortions, is a ‘sacred’ duty of the Department of Defense,” Donnelly told the DCNF.
“Really? Show us the law that authorizes travel subsidies for abortions or (as Kirby implied) for transgender surgeries attempting to change sex,” she added.
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