Yet another big-spending bill being negotiated in Congress would create new programs and send millions of additional dollars to deepen divisive racial identity politics within U.S. institutions. It would further indebt the United States to its top foreign adversary, China.
“There’s a lot of people in the House who have different concerns with different pieces of” the bill, House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith, D-Washington, told Bloomberg this week. To sideline those concerns, supporters attempted to attach the $250 billion S. 1260, the so-called United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, to a larger defense bill that is easier to sell to constituents as needed for “national security.”
That attempt failed Wednesday night. Instead of being attached to the defense bill known as NDAA, S. 1260 will be sent to conference between House and Senate Democratic leadership.
S. 1260’s lead sponsor is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Its Republican lead sponsor is Sen. Todd Young of Indiana, whose spokeswoman says wanted his bill connected to the bigger bill to make it harder for colleagues to vote down.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, also voted for S. 1260, but reportedly opposed attaching it to NDAA. Other Republican Senate cosponsors include Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Steve Daines of Montana, and Mitt Romney of Utah.
S. 1260’s House lead sponsor is far-left Rep. Ro Khanna, who told Politico in May as it started to get stuffed with pork, “Everyone knows this thing is going to pass, so every lobbyist wants to add everything they can.” So what’s in this bill? Among other things in its 100 sections are provisions that attack the historic American commitment to treat all Americans equally without respect to their race.
For one thing, S. 1260 would create a $100 million “National Science Corps” pilot program somewhat like the Peace Corps. The current bill mandates that this new government program would select leaders and participants at least in part based on their race, and lists as one of its chief duties “advancing equity.”
As the nationwide debate about critical race theory and related initiatives has shown, however, “equity” has been widely interpreted by government education institutions to mean “systemic racial discrimination.” This bill funds and requires the division of Americans by their skin color and ancestry rather than applying its provisions equally to all regardless of their race.
Teachers who apply for the National Science Corps program would be required to “focus on advancing equity by spending additional time teaching and coaching underserved students,” according to the current version of the bill. States that apply for federal funds under this bill must likewise prioritize students by family income, national origin, and race for the so-called “education” programming the bill aims to develop.
S. 1260 also would require the National Science Foundation to undermine its effectiveness as an organization by hiring a “Chief Diversity Officer” and giving that person $5 million to “establish a strategic plan for diverse participation” in science education. The bill would also require the foundation to identify and catalog the race of inventors who earn patents.
Institutions that apply for federal grants this bill would create for postsecondary math and science study would have to ensure that “significant progress will be made toward improving equity in access to advanced coursework and postsecondary STEM pathways.” In Democrat-led cities like New York City, school systems’ solutions for providing “equity” in advanced coursework has been to cancel gifted and talented programs because the racial makeup of students who earned entrance to such programs did not satisfy race essentialist activists.
This bill seeks precisely such an outcome from some of its “math and science education” grants, because those who apply for them must assure the feds that at the end of their grant period “the demographics of students participating in advanced coursework and postsecondary STEM pathways will be similar to the demographics of total student enrollment in the State the eligible entity is located in by the end of the grant period.”
The bill likewise ties its “computer science” grants to states’ promise to select students according to their race rather than their academic achievement. It requires states that apply for these grants to “measure equity gaps across the State, across and within local educational agencies, and across and within schools served by such agencies, in access and enrollment in computer science coursework for students facing systemic barriers” and then use the data so collected to “to target State-level investments or supports to close identified equity gaps.”
Bill supporters such as Schumer claim this bill is needed to compete with China, but by funding scientific study according to students’ and researchers’ race rather than their abilities and preparation, and by possibly cutting off gifted education in the name of “equity,” this bill’s most likely outcome is further reducing the United States’ achievements in math and science.
A fundraising email from Young claims, based on an anonymously sourced Reuters story, that China opposes his bill. Anonymous sources are routinely used to spin media stories in ways that benefit both foreign and domestic entities while keeping potential conflicts of interest and other motivations hidden. They were a key strategy for advancing the Russia collusion hoax.
According to OpenSecrets.org data, the finance and health industries are among Young’s top five sectors for total campaign donations. Young’s office did not return two requests for comment.