Rep. Jim Banks Helps Kill Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Amendment to Defense Bill

Jim Banks
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Republican Rep. Jim Banks (IN) successfully helped kill an amendment to a defense bill on Wednesday that would have required defense contractors with government contracts over $150,000 to create annual reports on the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of their board of directors.

The amendment, proposed by Democrat Rep. Anthony Brown (MD), would have also required defense contractors to include in those reports their plans for racial, ethnic, and gender diversity on its board and a summary of participation in diversity programs.

Banks and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) argued the amendment — proposed by Democrat Rep. Anthony Brown (MD) — would not only waste time and money, but further politicize the Pentagon and do nothing to make the United States more lethal.

“I oppose the Brown amendment and I’m very disappointed by this attempt to politicize a bill that’s meant to help our men and women in uniform,” Banks, a Navy reservist and chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said.

He also argued the amendment would have required basically “every single small defense contractor in the country” to submit that information.

“It is time consuming and expensive. And the information being solicited by this amendment is mostly available on these companies’ websites anyway,” he said. “But more importantly – can anyone explain how pronoun training will make our defense industry more cost-effective and more lethal? Of course not. No one can explain that. But we do know it will waste company time,” he added.

Banks also argued the amendment would have made conservatives and Americans with no political agenda to be less likely to seek employment at those defense companies.:

Can anyone explain how the number of White, Black, Hispanic or Asian Board Members is supposed to affect the quality of a contractor’s product? Can anyone tell me how the Department will use this information to improve acquisition outcomes? I challenge anyone in this room to tell me what they consider the ideal racial makeup of a contractors Board of Directors that would allow them to best contribute to our National Defense. No one would dare answer that question because it’s ridiculous and offensive.

Banks has been a leading fighter against the spread of wokeness in the military by its leadership and particularly the Navy, where he led a push to get books on Critical Race Theory off the chief of naval operation’s recommended reading list for all sailors.

Banks slammed Democrats for trying their best to strip the military of its “apolitical nature.” He said:

The Navy put an extremist Critical Race Theory manifesto on its official reading list. Meanwhile, there was a DoD stand down to combat ‘extremism.’ There were no religious or viewpoint exemptions to the vaccine mandate. Is there any evidence that wokeness has increased our overall military readiness? There is none. But some would like to inject that same leftist agenda into private contractors. Why? This isn’t about strengthening our military. This is about political ideology.

“Congress should be focused on preparing our military to deal with Russia and China and keeping our country secure at a time of unprecedented global chaos. But instead, we’re focused on the radical left’s political agenda. It’s shameful.”


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