Exclusive – Rep. Jim Banks: Biden Pentagon Focusing on DEI Instead of Protecting America

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

House Armed Services Subcommittee for Military Personnel Chair Jim Banks (R-IN) in a recent exclusive interview with Breitbart News harshly criticized the Biden Pentagon for focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) — or efforts to make the military more racially and gender-diverse — instead of focusing on making it more lethal.

“They’re focusing on DEI instead of on the future of our armed forces and protecting America, which is the explicit purpose of our military to begin with,” said Banks, who is also a Navy reservist.

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 15: Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., arrives for the House Republicans leadership elections in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Banks held a hearing this week to grill top Biden Pentagon officials from Department of Defense (DOD) and each military service on the six million man-hours troops were forced to spend on DEI training in the first year of the Biden administration.

Banks said the big takeaway from the hearing was that none of the Biden administration officials could justify spending that much time on DEI with any evidence or data.

“What’s the statistical or empirical evidence that they have at the Pentagon that shows that any of this is worthwhile? Six million man-hours that could be spent on training our troops to defeat China or positioning us to strengthen our military in other ways, but are instead being focused on DEI political training pushed on our troops,” he said.

Related: Matt Gaetz Kills Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Amendment to Defense Bill:

RepMattGaetz / Rumble

“There wasn’t a single example,” he said. “[Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gil Cisneros] who oversees all of the DEI programs at the Pentagon had nothing substantive at all to say in the hearing, especially justifying any of these efforts.”

“At the end of the day, as I said, the hearing this week provided no evidence that DEI programs are effective at all,” he said.

Banks also blasted the DOD for not doing anything to reprimand Kelisa Wing, who formerly served as the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA)’s chief diversity office until she was caught tweeting racist remarks about white people.

The DOD told lawmakers only hours before the hearing that Wing was reassigned to another position, allegedly for reasons not related to her tweets.

Kelisa Wing chief of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Department of Defense’s K-12 school system

Kelisa Wing chief of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Department of Defense’s K-12 school system. (Department of Defense Education Activity)

“They just reshuffled her position — a six figure salary — to put her somewhere else when she should never have been hired by the Pentagon to begin with,” Banks said. “This woman was even caught making shameless plugs for the racist books that she had written at military conferences.”

“It’s an important example of how these officials have operated within the Pentagon,” he said, but added, “It’s happening all across the federal government though, in the Biden administration, where they’re hiring people with these very dangerous anti-American, racist and woke ideologies that they’re pushing out on our society, on our culture.”

Banks said House Republicans are unified against this “politicized left-wing woke DEI training,” and will look to use the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to end it.

“We’re going to do everything that we can to strip it and defund it from the military,” he said. “We’re just getting started.”

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WATCH: CNO Can’t Explain Why Navy Hosted DEI Summit:



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