America stands at a crossroads, facing two distinct paths. One path leads to a future where merit, hard work and individual qualifications open doors of success, fostering unity and opportunity for all. The other path, driven by the misguided agenda of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI), leads to division, resentment and a low-trust society where race, gender and sexuality are prioritized over qualifications and merit.

To most Americans the choice is clear, and it is time that Congress follows suit and take a stand for it.

DEI is not the noble cause it claims to be. At its core, DEI practices enforce a system where identity traits are valued above individual abilities and achievements. This approach undermines the fundamental American principle that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed based on their hard work and qualifications. Instead, DEI policies create an environment of division and resentment, where people are judged by characteristics over which they have no control rather than their skills and contributions.

The extent of DEI’s reach within our government is staggering. From NASA and the National Science Foundation to the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Army, federal agencies are mandated to undergo diversity training. These workshops drill tax collectors on “cultural inclusion,” military commanders on so-called “male pregnancy” and nuclear engineers on the “roots of white male culture.” That same training even instructed engineers to write messages to “white women” and “people of color” about their newfound insights, a clear example of DEI’s condescending and divisive nature that places some Americans above others because of their immutable characteristics.

While these divisive trainings—reminiscent of the Maoist struggle sessions in 20th-century China, which were designed to enforce ideological conformity through public humiliation and coercion—represent one of the problematic aspects of DEI that must be rooted out of our government institutions, there are other equally concerning issues. For instance, in 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance that led some states to ration alternative COVID-19 treatments based on race. This policy, driven by DEI mandates, put lives at risk by prioritizing racial considerations over medical need.

Back in 2022, it was reported that the Department of Defense allocated $2 million for DEI programming in schools for military children. These funds could have been used to improve educational resources but were instead diverted to promote a divisive agenda for the children of members of the military.

This misuse of taxpayer money is not just an affront to fiscal responsibility, it institutionalizes discriminatory practices within our government. In 2023 alone, the Biden administration spent over $16 million on diversity training for government employees and requested an additional $83 million for DEI programs at the State Department. The Office of Personnel Management’s DEI and Accessibility office also received $9.2 million of taxpayer money. These numbers highlight the significant financial burden DEI places on taxpayers, all while fostering division in society.

To combat this, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and I have introduced the Dismantle DEI Act which would end these practices by broadly prohibiting all DEI-related activities within the federal government. It seeks to cut off funding for DEI trainings, offices and programs and meticulously combs through the U.S. Code to eliminate legal authorizations for these divisive initiatives. By doing so, we are ensuring that these practices are not just reduced, but entirely eradicated from our federal government and the institutions that it mandates.

DEI initiatives, while often presented as efforts to promote fairness, have instead cultivated an environment where people are judged by demographic identifiers rather than their merit. This fundamentally conflicts with the principles of equality and fairness that should be the foundation of our government institutions. By dismantling DEI programs, we are reaffirming our commitment to a system where individuals are evaluated based on their qualifications and abilities, not their race, gender or sexuality.

It is time for Congress to act decisively to eliminate DEI programs and restore a system based on merit and equality. Together, we are committed to taking our message to the American people—a message that promises opportunity for all rather than a select few. The Dismantle DEI Act is a necessary step in restoring to our federal government common sense, fairness and the understanding that all are created equal.

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