Republicans Introduce Legislation to Ban DEI Funding in Federal and Educational Institutions

Republicans Introduce Legislation to Ban DEI Funding in Federal and Educational Institutions

Senate Republicans are targeting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs within the federal government with a new measure that intends to abolish and prevent any agency from supporting DEI-related programs, offices, or leaders, including in higher education.

On Thursday, far-right Ohio Senator JD Vance introduced the “Dismantle DEI Act of 2024,” legislation aimed at DEI programs, which he calls a “destructive ideology that breeds hatred and racial division.”

A part of the bill clearly prevents colleges and universities from using federal funds to support DEI and accessibility offices, officers, or training courses. According to the bill, higher education institutions are not permitted to “develop, implement, distribute, publish, or purchase a course or substantially similar course” on critical race theory, sexual orientation, gender theory, sexual identity, intersectionality, or other topics.

“It has no place in our federal government or anywhere else in our society,” Vance declared in a news statement.

He continued: “Americans’ tax dollars should not be co-opted to spread this radical and divisive ideology — this bill would ensure they are not.”

It is the latest move by conservatives to eliminate DEI initiatives, which they claim are discriminatory and promote liberal philosophy. A conservative legal group filed a case to the Supreme Court last year, and it invalidated affirmative action in higher education institutions.

DEI programs, which have existed since the 1960s, are intended to promote equal opportunity and fair treatment for all individuals in businesses, schools, and organizations. Often, this includes establishing an office committed to educating and promoting diversity through training programs.

However, in recent years, right-wingers have denounced DEI efforts as liberal indoctrination or “reverse racism.” At least 20 states have tried to regulate DEI in schools and workplaces. Idaho, Florida, Texas, and Indiana have all enacted laws based on these attempts. Now, Vance, along with 20 other members of Congress, is attempting to eliminate DEI initiatives from the federal government as a whole by revoking any presidential orders related to diversity, eliminating all offices or officers dedicated to DEI, and rescinding all funds for DEI programs.

Given the Democratic majority in the Senate, the bill is unlikely to succeed. Even if it did, President Joe Biden would almost definitely veto it.


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