During a segment on “The Ingraham Angle,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham criticized Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner for going against his party’s stance and voting with Democrats to reject two amendments that would have prevented the U.S. Department of Defense from allocating funds towards diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
The House Armed Services Committee voted 30-29 against both measures, with Turner and Nebraska Republican Don Bacon being the only Republicans siding with Democrats in opposition to the amendments.
“The government has become fat and way too happy with woke – and that includes the Pentagon. During a markup of the National Defense Authorization Act, Republicans – including my next guest – proposed changes that targeted diversity, equity, and inclusion programs,” Ingraham said, before airing a clip of Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz slamming DEI initiatives at a committee hearing.
“Now, one of the amendments Gaetz proposed was to get rid of the Pentagon’s chief diversity officer,” Ingraham said. “Well, it passed, but he wanted to go a step further and eliminate federal funding for all DEI training. That amendment, he says, failed after Republicans joined Democrats to defeat it. Gonna name names.”
Ingraham then welcomed Gaetz to the show.
“Congressman, we reached out to those two Republicans,” Ingraham said. “And we’re gonna name them. Congressmen Bacon and Turner. Congressman Bacon’s office responded in part, ‘[One] amendment would have totally cut all diversity training for the military, which is unreasonable. All service members should know that racism and sexual harassment are not tolerated in our military.’ That’s a weak response.”
Gaetz responded: “Well, as I explained to Congressman Bacon in the committee, we always have standards in the military that don’t allow people to be racist or harmful to their fellow service members, and none of those standards would have changed. The question is whether or not we ought to have these chief diversity officers, and Laura, they are making as much as $183,000 per year. Compare that to a private in the army or an airman or a sergeant working for our military. I tell you what, if the chief diversity officer is what we need to win wars, maybe we should send them all to the frontlines in Ukraine like now. Get them to Taiwan. But of course that’s not the case. This dilutes our readiness. I’m glad that the structural office has been eliminated, but you always have to follow the money, and that’s why I will continue to pursue efforts to get all of the funding removed.”
The official website of the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion states: “ODEI is an organization aligned under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) that develops and executes diversity management and equal opportunity policies and programs affecting active duty and reserve component military personnel and DOD civilian employees.”
“The changing face of the Nation demands that we change. As the demographic makeup of the American population continues to evolve, it is imperative that the Department of Defense focus its efforts on emerging talent to ensure that we successfully attract, recruit, develop, and retain a highly-skilled Total Force capable of meeting current and future mission requirements,” the website adds.
Department of Defense Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement reads:
“We are committed to making the DoD a workplace of choice that is characterized by diversity, equality, and inclusion. We remain steadfast in our commitment to promote an environment free from barriers that may prevent personnel from realizing their potential and rising to the highest levels of responsibility within the Department. To that end, the Department continues to strengthen policies and procedures that promulgate the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equal Opportunity missions. We continue to enhance diversity and ensure equality across our entire workforce. We believe diversity is the key to innovation, inclusion is imperative for cohesive teamwork, and equality is critical to Total Force readiness.”