Legislation Would Eliminate DEI Programs in Federal Agencies

A new bill in Congress would eliminate DEI programs in federal agencies.

Legislation has been introduced to eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in all federal agencies.

The Dismantle DEI Act was introduced in the House (H.R. 8706) by Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX) and in the Senate (S. 4516) by Senator JD Vance (R-OH). It would eliminate all federal DEI programs and funding for federal agencies, contractors which receive federal funding, organizations which receive federal grants, and educational accreditation agencies.

The bill would accomplish this by rescinding all relevant executive orders issued by President Biden, terminating Chief Diversity Officers, shutting down DEI offices, ending DEI and critical race theory training for federal employees, outlawing mandatory employee DEI pledges, and revoking DEI funding at federal agencies.

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

Rep. Cloud added, “These initiatives, presented as promoting fairness, have instead fostered division and racial bias within our institutions and culture which is not conducive to serving taxpayers well. 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. It’s absurd to fund these divisive policies, especially using Americans’ tax dollars, and it’s time for Congress to put an end to them once and for all.”

History of DEI in the Federal Workforce

On August 18, 2011, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order (EO) entitled “Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce”. The gist of the EO was directing agencies to emphasize diversity and inclusion training throughout the federal workforce.

President Trump rescinded the EO in 2020 after it was revealed that critical race theory training for federal employees was taking place at agencies. The Office of Management and Budget issued a memo in September 2020 which said, in part:

It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date “training” government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.

For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.” According to press reports, in some cases these training (sic) have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job….The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.

The trainings referenced in the memo led to Trump’s Executive Order.

When he took office, President Biden rescinded the Trump EO on diversity training and issued a new one several months later that instructed federal agencies to “take steps to implement or increase the availability and use of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility training programs for employees, managers, and leadership.”

Although it is unlikely to become law under the Biden administration, the parameters of the Dismantle DEI Act outline changes that could happen if Trump were to be reelected in November.

What Is Critical Race Theory?

According to Britannica.com:

Critical race theory (CRT), [is an] intellectual and social movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of colour. Critical race theorists hold that racism is inherent in the law and legal institutions of the United States insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans. Critical race theorists are generally dedicated to applying their understanding of the institutional or structural nature of racism to the concrete (if distant) goal of eliminating all race-based and other unjust hierarchies.

What is the Difference Between Equality and Equity?

When the government refers to “equity,” what exactly does that mean? How is it different from equality?

In short, equality means everyone has the same opportunities and chances at success or failure, but equity ensures everyone will achieve the same outcome as dictated by their circumstances.

Health.com explains it this way:

Equality is the access to and distribution of a set of resources evenly across people. Equity, in contrast, is the access to or distribution of resources based on need. Equality and equity are separate concepts. Both have to do with fairness and justice, but how society achieves them and what they ultimately look like are different.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.