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Wicker, colleagues move to cut...

Wicker, colleagues move to cut “toxic” programs at the Pentagon

By: Anne Summerhays - November 18, 2022

Lawmakers introduce legislation to eliminate the position of CDO, prohibit federal funds from being used to establish any similar DEI office.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) joined his congressional colleagues in introducing the “Restoring Military Focus Act,” which would cut resources for “diversity, equity, and inclusion” initiatives at the Department of Defense.

U.S. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2021.

The bill would eliminate the position of Chief Diversity Officer at the Department of Defense and bar the use of federal dollars to establish offices similarly focused on a race and gender-oriented personnel agenda.

Senator Wicker said the spread of gender and race ideology at the Department of Defense is toxic and diminishes our fighting force.

“Our military is not a place for social experimentation,” Senator Wicker said. “With the rise of severe military threats from China and Russia, any step forward in improving our national defense must include rooting out these corrosive ideas and improving quality of life for our troops.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio introduced the “Restoring Military Focus Act.”

“Our military should be focused on protecting our national security, not on promoting woke nonsense,” Senator Rubio said. “The current direction we are heading in is dangerous. If we don’t reverse course, we risk jeopardizing our military strength, national interests, and security.”

In addition to Senator Wicker, cosponsors of the legislation include U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), James Lankford (R-OK), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jim Risch (R-ID), and Mike Crapo (R-ID).

Senator Cruz said Americans expect the Department of Defense to focus on maintaining our military as a combat-ready force capable of defeating and killing our enemies.

“Instead the Biden administration has transformed the Pentagon into a laboratory for woke policies,” Cruz added. “The result is breathtakingly irresponsible and reckless.” 

“The U.S. military should be focused on confronting the New Axis of Evil — not telling our troops they are racist, teaching CRT or pushing gender pronouns,” Senator Blackburn said. “Our brave warriors should be evaluated solely on their merit.” 

Senator Lankford argued that the men and women serving our nation in the military do not need to be focused on “woke” training practices.

“Their job is to be ready for the call to protect our nation—not to be up to speed on the latest ‘woke’ terminology. We need to focus on national security,” Lankford said.

“The Restoring Military Focus Act takes the right steps to protect our military from toxic, un-American ideologies and put the focus back on the number one priority: defending our nation’s security,” Senator Hawley said.

Senator Cotton said the Department of Defense having a ‘Chief Diversity Officer’ is unnecessary. 

“Young Americans join the military to learn how to defend our country, not learn about radical ideologies,” Senator Cotton said. “It’s no wonder our military is facing a recruiting crisis under the Biden Administration.”

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: