Republican lawmakers are attempting to push legislation that would abolish the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the House of Representatives.
Republican Alex Mooney of West Virginia introduced the legislation shortly after the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed, which abolished diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices at the Pentagon.
“The House should abide by the same standards we set for federal agencies across the government, which is why I have introduced this resolution to eliminate the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion,” Mooney said in a statement.
The House Office of Diversity and Inclusion was created in 2019 after Democrats gained control of the House. Mooney's bill currently has no Democratic sponsors.
Republicans have recently zeroed in on DEI offices across the nation, including in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that banned DEI programs at Florida's public colleges. Texas has also banned DEI offices at public colleges.
DEI programs seek to include groups who have been historically underrepresented or subject to discrimination on the basis of identity or disability. The practice of affirmative action is similar, encouraging diversity in applicants selected for universities or careers. The Supreme Court recently ruled that affirmative action may not be used in college admissions selections.
The Congressional Black Caucus has blasted both the SCOTUS ruling and Mooney's legislation, as Democratic Representative Steven Horsford of Nevada, chair of the caucus, told reporters: “They’re proving every single day why diversity, equity and inclusion is needed. I would encourage them to contact the Office of Diversity here at the U.S. Capitol and benefit from the training and the resources that they have.”
Director of the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Sesha Joi Moon, said in a statement to The Hill that the office "will of course comply with any forthcoming legislation and directives from leadership," but highlighted that they are a nonpartisan and nonlegislative office that only consists of twelve employees.
“Currently, ODI, which maintains relationships on both sides of the aisle, remains committed to its mission to advance a representative and qualified workforce by 'putting the people in the people’s house,'” she said.