(LibertySociety.com) – Republican lawmakers have sought to ensure that the military remains focused on the security of the nation after noticing a shift in focus to so-called “equity” initiatives. Several top officials from the Pentagon testified during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on September 20. They attempted to reassure lawmakers that promotions within the military are determined solely by a person’s skills and merits. Lawmakers expressed doubts about their claims, pointing to the Biden Administration’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda throughout the entire federal government.
Indiana Representative Jim Banks, who chairs the committee, told the Pentagon officials that these types of radical ideologies have no place within the military, recommending that they trash the DEI policies. He believes that if the military continues to promote the policies, the government will be “placing military readiness and our national security at risk.” One Army official told the committee that the branch “does not use demographic goals or quotas in its promotion system.” Florida Republican Representative Matt Waltz pushed back on the claim, noting that implementing DEI for promotions can still happen even if it is not official policy.
Rep. Banks secured an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will require the Department of Defense to draft rules that forbid DEI-style recruitment. The NDAA is one of the many spending bills that has still not made it through Congress to President Biden’s desk. DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin has advocated against policies that prohibit the military from promoting diversity. He claims that it would put the nation’s protectors at a strategic disadvantage. Lawmakers pushed back on Austin’s claims during the hearing, asking for data to back it up. Officials admitted that they possessed no such data but noted that there is an active study ongoing on the matter. Voting on the bill in the House has been delayed due to Republican infighting. Congress went home for the weekend on September 21 without any progress made on pending legislation.
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