A recent legislative proposal has surfaced from Senator Eric Schmitt of Missouri, which seeks to dismantle diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) departments across various federal entities. The proposed six-page Abolish Government DEI Act aims to cease funding for these initiatives, with Schmitt’s prelude to the bill denouncing what he views as the politicization of federal agencies under the current administration, accusing it of misusing funds and creating discord.
The bill targets a broad array of agencies, with at least eight cabinet-level departments housing DEI divisions. The extensive list includes a range of entities from tax services to the military and intellectual property offices, although it is too extensive to detail in full here.
The motion reflects a broader trend where interest in DEI roles appears to be waning, as evidenced by a noted decrease in demand for DEI positions, which is reported to be at a three-decade low. This shift is seen even in the corporate sphere, where DEI initiatives proliferated post-George Floyd, with many DEI leaders in top companies reportedly stepping down.
The impact of DEI practices on the educational sector is particularly scrutinized. Despite the Department of Education’s exclusion from the bill’s current scope, it’s highlighted as a sector where DEI has had controversial implications, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s examination of affirmative action in a case involving Asian students at Harvard.
Pointed to are the DEI departments within the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health. Should the bill pass, Schmitt suggests that the removal of DEI programs in these health-related entities could have life-saving outcomes, questioning the prioritization of DEI over professional qualifications in healthcare.
Senator Schmitt, in his statement, contended that DEI initiatives are not only a financial burden on taxpayers but also counterproductive by perpetuating the very discrimination they aim to combat. He underscores his belief that such programs undermine the meritocratic principles upon which he believes America was founded. His commitment is to actively oppose what he sees as inherently unjust and profligate DEI programs within the federal government.
Author: Blake Ambrose