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Lawmakers to Introduce Bill Capping Salaries of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff at the Defense Department

'Government bureaucrats promoting divisive ideology should not earn a higher paycheck than the soldiers on the front lines,' said Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton

Two Republican senators will propose restricting the salaries of Department of Defense employees hired to work on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Congressman Jim Banks of Indiana intend to introduce a bill in their respective chambers that would set the max salary of DEI positions within the Pentagon at $31,000. The DOD would be barred from employing anyone with a government employment rank higher than E-5 for DEI roles.

The DEI Pay Cap Act of 2023 would also require the DOD to reassign anyone above an E-5 currently working on DEI initiatives within 180 days after the bill becomes law. 

“Government bureaucrats promoting divisive ideology should not earn a higher paycheck than the soldiers on the front lines defending our country,” Cotton said in a statement to Fox News Digital

Cotton said the bill “will make sure the Department of Defense’s budget focuses on strengthening our national security, not paying administrators to solve social justice problems that don’t exist.”

Banks said the bill would stop the DOD from funding “poisonous ideology.”

“The DoD is paying anti-American bureaucrats more than patriotic servicemembers,” Banks tweeted on Feb. 1. “That sends a dangerous message to troops about the Pentagon’s priorities and values.”

“Funding poisonous ideologies will destroy our military’s readiness and cohesion,” Banks said in a joint press release with Cotton.

“This bill ensures more of the DoD’s budget is spent on the warfighters who enable the U.S. military to accomplish its mission, which is to win wars,” he added.

On Sept. 14, 2021, DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin initiated the formation of the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. The department said it selected members from the “nation’s talented, innovative private and public sector leaders, whose service will provide a more diverse and inclusive perspective that promotes variety in background, experience, and thought in support of the committee’s mission.”

“The committee is composed of civilian women and men who are appointed by the Secretary of Defense to provide advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the improvement of racial/ethnic diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity within the Department with a primary focus on military personnel,” said the DOD in a Sept. 2022 announcement

In October of 2022, the Pentagon announced it was investigating the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer of the Department of Defense for a series of anti-White social media posts.

The DEI officer, Keisa Wing, described herself online as the “woke administrator” and wrote that she was “exhausted with these White folx.”

The bill is considered unlikely to pass the Senate, which the Democratic Party controls.

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