Republicans Take a Wood Chipper to Military Wokeness with Defense Bill

republicans take a wood chipper to military wokeness with defense bill
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Republicans in the House and Senate aim to pass a defense policy bill that would not only raise troop pay by 5.2% but would shred wokeness in the military and the entire Department of Defense (DOD) bureaucracy if it becomes law.

House Republicans banded together Friday and muscled the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) through the House, almost entirely on a narrow party-line vote of 221-213.

Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) hailed its passage as “an important victory,” saying:

Today was an important victory for our men and women in uniform who risk their lives to keep us safe. It was also an important victory for every American in this country that wants to see our military focused on our enemies abroad and not on wokeness and all of the indoctrination attempts you’re seeing within the Pentagon. And it was a massive rebuke of that far-left ideology and the push that we’ve seen under the Biden administration.

Days before the vote, the Joe Biden administration had issued a Statement of Administration Policy, listing a number of NDAA provisions it opposed, including those that curtailed its so-called “diversity, equity, inclusion, and access” (DEIA) initiatives.

“The Administration strongly opposes the House’s sweeping attempts…to eliminate the Department’s longstanding DEIA efforts and related initiatives to promote a cohesive and inclusive force,” it said.

White House: “Very Difficult to See” Biden Signing NDAA that Doesn’t Fund DEI, Abortion, Gender Transitions

Specifically, the House bill prohibits funding for teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the military, prohibits funds for any DOD advisory committee dealing with CRT, and requires the DOD to report to Congress how much time and taxpayer dollars have been wasted on CRT training.

The bill also eliminates the DOD’s chief diversity officer position, created by the Biden administration, and guts the DOD’s “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) bureaucracy by eliminating jobs carrying out DEI above the GS-10 pay grade, which is any position earning more than $92,000.

It also requires the defense secretary to assess and validate the need for every position in the DEI bureaucracy and eliminates funding for the DOD’s Countering Extremism Working Group, launched by the Biden administration. It further prohibits the DOD from contracting with NewsGuard Technologies or similar advertising firms that blacklist conservative news sources.

The bill bans funds for any DOD advisory committee dealing with race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or social justice; bans funding for drag shows, drag queen story hours, or similar events; and halts the Navy’s “Digital Ambassador” program, after it used an active-duty drag queen as an ambassador.

Furthermore, the bill includes a “Parents Bill of Rights” to ensure parents of children in DOD schools have the right to review curriculum, books, and instructional materials; meet with teachers; and provide consent before any medical exams or screenings by the school.

The bill also prevents a DOD “Green New Deal” by prohibiting climate change programs, blocks the DOD from requiring defense contractors to document impacts on greenhouse gas emissions or submit plans to reduce emissions, ensures military ranges in the Gulf of Mexico stay open for military training, cuts combat vehicle electrification research programs, and prohibits funds for DOD advisory committees dealing with environmental justice.

Anti-Woke Caucus Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN), a Navy veteran who authored a number of the provisions for knee-capping DEI in the DOD, said in a statement:

This year’s NDAA is the most conservative I’ve seen since I got to Congress, and members of the Anti-Woke Caucus played a leading role in that victory. I hope conservatives in the House learn from today’s vote and use our leverage during the upcoming appropriations process to defund wokeness in every federal agency.

House Republicans also succeeded in getting a number of amendments attached to the NDAA, such as a repeal of the Pentagon’s new policy that pays for troops and family members to take time off and travel out of state for abortions, banning coverage of transition surgeries and hormone treatments for transgender troops, and prohibiting the flying of pride flags at military bases.

Related: Exclusive — Rep. MTG: Republicans Will “Do Everything We Can” to Preserve NDAA House-Passed Amendment Banning Military Censorship Funding

Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News

House Democrats fumed after its passage and asserted that the House’s version of the bill would not pass the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.

“I take solace in the fact that this is not going to become law and we have an opportunity to correct it,” the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), told Politico.

The House bill must be reconciled with the Senate’s bill through a process referred to as “conference,” where members of the House and Senate appointed by leadership hash out the differences in the bills and combine them into one, and send it back to the House and Senate for final approval and the president’s signature.

While the fate of the more controversial Republican amendments attached to the House bill on the floor is unclear, a good number of the anti-woke provisions in the original House bill are expected to make it since it was advanced by the House Armed Services Committee on a bipartisan basis.

Similarly, Senate aides noted to Breitbart News on Friday that a number of the anti-woke provisions in the Senate’s version will also likely make it through Congress, given Democrat support of the bill.

The Senate bill includes Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker’s (R-MS) MERIT Act, which would define “equity” in “diversity, equity, and inclusion” to mean “equal opportunity” and not trying to effect an “equal outcome” for military personnel based on race, sex, or another such characteristic.

The Act would also ban Critical Race Theory courses or training at all military units and service academies.

The Senate bill would also cap DEI job salaries even further than the House’s bill, at $50,000 to $60,000, to enable senior leaders to focus on warfighting, not social policy.

It also would increase oversight of military academies’ woke policies — requiring the service academies to lay out how they plan to handle men participating in women’s sports, bring back mandating standardized testing for applicants, and prohibit them from using race in admission decisions.

The bill would prohibit the personal political views of a service member from affecting where he or she is assigned and would ban requiring service members and civilians at the DOD to list their preferred pronouns in correspondence.

It would also require a full independent audit of the costs, content, and materials used in woke equity programming at the DOD and prohibit any new DEI jobs until the audit is finished.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook. 

Authored by Kristina Wong via Breitbart July 17th 2023