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Jim Banks Blasts Biden’s ‘Unconstitutional And Dangerous’ Push For Racial And Sexual Politics In The Military

Rep. Jim Banks speaking at a CCP Select Committee hearing
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Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., is slamming President Joe Biden for opposing several legislative amendments to a House defense bill that would restore meritocracy to the U.S. armed forces.

On Monday, the White House sent a memo to ranking members of the House Armed Services Committee listing sections in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 that it continues to oppose. Included in the list are numerous NDAA provisions that would restrict the Defense Department’s (DOD) use of DEI ideology, which the administration claims “promote a cohesive and inclusive force.”

“The men and women serving our country deserve much better than a commander-in-chief who reduces them to their sex and the color of their skin,” Banks told The Federalist. “It’s offensive, unconstitutional, and dangerous!”

Shorthand for “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” DEI is a poisonous ideology that’s dismissive of merit and discriminates based on characteristics such as skin color and sexual orientation. Individuals who qualify for a certain position due to their merits but don’t meet the discriminating entity’s goal of being more “diverse” are often passed over in favor of those who meet the preferred identitarian standards.

Among the NDAA provisions opposed by the White House are two amendments sponsored by Banks and approved by the House Armed Services Committee, one of which would mandate the Pentagon use a merit-based system to determine military promotions and assignments. The other would prohibit the defense secretary from appointing or employing anyone, military or civilian, “with a rank or grade in excess of GS–10” to carry out DEI-related duties.

A separate amendment offered by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., defunding DEI initiatives in the military altogether was killed during the committee markup process last month after Reps. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Mike Turner, R-Ohio, sided with Democrats in opposing the proposal.

Interestingly, the White House did not express opposition to another Banks amendment that suspends the Navy’s “Digital Ambassador” program. Earlier this year, The Daily Caller revealed the Navy brought on Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley — an active-duty drag queen who goes by the stage name Harpy Daniels and identifies as nonbinary — to be a “Navy Digital Ambassador.” The Digital Ambassador initiative, which ran from October 2022 to March 2023, was reportedly “designed to explore the digital environment to reach a wide range of potential candidates” for military recruitment, according to a Navy representative.

A conservative legal group has since referred Kelley to the Navy for investigation for allegedly violating existing military protocols by engaging in partisan politics and disrespecting his superiors.

Additional NDAA provisions opposed by the White House that would limit DEI ideology in the military include those prohibiting the “use of federal funds for certain training or education that promotes critical race theory,” barring the use of federal money for drag shows and drag queen story hour, and cutting the position of DOD chief diversity officer, among others.

The House is expected to vote on the NDAA FY2024 sometime this week.


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