Biden Admin Opposes Merit-Based Military Promotions, Wants Provisions For Race And Gender
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: US President Joe Biden departs from 10 Downing Street following a bi-lateral meeting with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on July 10, 2023 in London, England. The President is visiting the UK to further strengthen the close relationship between the two nations and to discuss climate issues with King Charles at Windsor Castle. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Leon Neal/Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s administration is fighting back against a new provision in the annual defense spending bill that would require military promotions to be based solely on merit rather than considering race or gender.

The White House responded to the proposed NDAA in a statement on July 10th, outlining a number of provisions the administration opposed – from the potential creation of a Space Force National Guard to the attempt to roll back some of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies that Biden had enacted at the beginning of his presidency.

“The Administration strongly opposes the House’s sweeping attempts (sections 364, 523, 566, 595, 596, 598, 904, and 1046) to eliminate the Department’s longstanding DEIA efforts and related initiatives to promote a cohesive and inclusive force,” a statement from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) read. “As articulated in the 2022 NDS, one of the Department’s top priorities is building a resilient Joint Force and defense enterprise.”

“DoD’s strategic advantage in a complex global security environment is the diverse and dynamic talent pool from which we draw. We rely on diverse perspectives, experiences, and skillsets to remain a global leader, deter war, and keep our nation secure. Moreover, DoD is committed to developing and maintaining a dignified, respectful, and safe workplace. Legislation that reduces DoD’s ability to create a positive work environment and fully leverage the best our nation has to offer puts the Department at a strategic disadvantage,” the OMB’s statement continued.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) called the White House’s rebuff of the provisions he wrote — both the merit clause and the clauses repealing Biden’s DEI initiatives — a “badge of honor,” adding, “Wokeness is a cancer that will destroy our military from the inside out if we don’t stop it.”

The merit clause makes no mention of race or gender, reading simply: “A candidate shall be evaluated on the bases of qualifications, performance, integrity, fitness, training and conduct. No determination may be based on favoritism or nepotism; and no quota may be used.”

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) supported the move to strip DEI provisions from military promotions, adding, “What we’re trying to do is move to a colorblind, race-neutral worldview, where we’re focused on building a national defense and a military that is focused on, you know, blowing things up and killing people, not on social engineering wrapped in a uniform.”

The Biden administration does not appear to share that view.

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