Republicans Might Succeed in Eliminating DEI in Government

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Jun 12, 2024

Republican lawmakers introduced a new bill on Wednesday that would effectively remove all diversity, equity, and inclusion positions in the federal government. As well, it would stop federal contractors from requiring DEO statements and training sessions in their organizations.

The initiative says that DEI worked to “foster division and racial bias within our institutions and culture” instead of promoting fairness and levelling the playing field.

Specific Within the Dismantle DEI Act

Ohio Senator J.D. Vance and Texas Representative Michael Cloud introduced the Dismantle DEI Act, which bans federal grants from being used for diversity initiatives.

Senator J.D. Vance stands next to former Pres. Donald Trump while standing at a microphone

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A key component seeks to ban the use of funds for DEI initiatives in science and medicine. More provisions will prevent agencies from requiring DEI in schools and national security associations like NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.

Republican Lawmakers Concerned With the DEI Agenda

Diversity, equity, and inclusion plans are usually constructed to proactively foster workplace inclusion and ensure equal opportunities for people from marginalized communities. However, Republican lawmakers have had issues with the initiatives in recent years, fighting against critical race theory and LGBTQ discussions in schools.

Rep. Michael Cloud stands next to former Pres. Donald Trump in front of an American flag and a brick fireplace

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

Diversity Programs Have Exploded During the Biden Administration

Since 2020, the Biden administration has worked tirelessly to fit DEI initiatives into its agenda. Previously, the Republican-controlled government headed by Donald Trump cracked down on controversial diversity programs.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, along with other dignitaries, clapping at an outdoor event during the day

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The recent uptick is part of President Joe Biden’s executive orders to mandate a comprehensive approach to racial equality in federal government branches and laws.

The Bill Would Save the Government Billions of Dollars in Spending

The prohibitions would eliminate outside DEI consultants and hire full-time DEI employees in government branches. In 2023, the Biden administration spent roughly $16 million on diversity training for government employees.

Capitol Building, Mongomery, Alabama, it is a white building which is tree lined, it is a sunny day.

Library of Congress

More spending on the programs includes $83 for diversity training in the State Department and $9.2 million for the Office of Personnel Management’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility – one of the many offices the bill would eliminate.

Millions of Funding To Be Lost for Diversity Programs in Scientific Research

There have been billions of dollars set aside for “minority institutions” and researchers with a “commitment to promoting diversity.” Lawmakers are frustrated that so much money has been allocated to diversity-related grant opportunities within science and medicine research.

An aerial view of a large university campus with tall red brick buildings surrounded by green trees

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Grants made through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have held a monopoly over science funding in the United States for decades.


Other Republicans Have Signed Onto Support the Bill

The bill is currently being cosponsored by Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn), Rick Scott (R-Fla), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La), and Eric Scmitt (R-Mo) in the Senate.

A woman with blond hair holding a pair of glasses and a stack of papers

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Other conservative advocacy groups have added their support, including Heritage Action and the Claremont Institute.


The Bill Seeks To Free Americans From Being Forced To Participate in Programs

One of the bill’s main goals is to “free millions of Americans” from participating in diversity training programs, both federally and in the private sector.

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Proponents of the bill say that it comes at a time when anti-woke bills are becoming more popular in the United States. For example, the North Carolina Senate just passed a bill to ban mask-wearing in public as a sort of protest against “woke” ideologies.


Several Branches of Federal Programs Could Be Affected

More sectors will be targeted for removing DEI programs than just internal branches of the federal government. Institutions that receive federal funding are being targeted just the same.

The exterior of a large grey building with three arched doorways

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Accredited programs like the American Bar Association and the Liasion Committee on Medical Education, which grant authority to all medical and law schools in the U.S., take billions in funding each year from the Department of Education. Both institutions have made DEI material a core tenant of course content.


The Bill Implicates Current Regulations for the u.s. Army

Implications for the U.S. Army were also added to the bill.

A group of Army military soldiers walking with backpacks on outside.

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It would cancel requirements related to data keeping and collection based on diversity requirements. For example, it would repeal a law that allows the armed forces to keep data on the racial makeup of members.


Limiting Beliefs in Both Directions

Although the bill includes language suggesting that schools will no longer be forced to include DEI programs, it also swiftly swings the pendulum in the other direction.

The exterior of a large red brick building at a university campus

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Instead, it may also cause some schools to lose federal funding if they choose to include classes on racial and health equity. The bill points to Yale Medical School, which requires a course on advocacy and health justice that calls power dynamics into question.


DEI Efforts Can Often Fail Even With the Best Intentions

Despite honest efforts and intentions, DEI initiatives can often fail. When diversity training becomes mandatory, many employees feel even more excluded and isolated at work.

A panoramic view of the White House with expansive lawns

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The added strain can often cause fatigue and burnout. The time and money needed to improve DEI initiatives are often beyond budgetary constraints for many private companies. The Dismantle DEI act, however, would outlaw any such programs from taking place, which may have its own negative consequences.