Pride Month targeted by House GOP in must-pass defense bill

House Republicans are eyeing this year’s must-pass defense policy bill as a vehicle to combat left-wing Biden administration policies on diversity, LGBTQ representation and gender ideology.

More than 1,300 amendments have been offered to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of fiscal year 2025, annual legislation mapping out the Pentagon’s priorities as well as national security-related measures in the Department of Energy. 

Among them are at least 10 proposed amendments to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives within the Pentagon. 

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Several of them are aimed at eliminating the department’s two principal diversity offices; the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, as well as their staff.

A measure proposed by Reps. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., and Jim Banks, R-Ind., would ban U.S. service academies from using federal funds to create any DEI offices. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., submitted a broad initiative blocking any funding allocated by the NDAA to go toward DEI programs, offices or personnel.

The House’s current NDAA text includes a provision to block Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin from establishing a DEI-related committee or group for Pentagon-funded schools.

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Notably, a Democrat-led amendment by Rep. Shontel Brown, D-Ohio, was introduced to block that policy.

The House Rules Committee, the final barrier for legislation before it’s considered chamber-wide, is taking up the NDAA on Tuesday. That sets up a mid-June House vote – coinciding with Pride Month, which is also under the House GOP’s microscope. 

Two separate amendments offered by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., addressed the monthlong pro-LGBTQ event. One would ban the use of federal funds for Pride Month celebrations or instruction within Pentagon-run schools, while the other would mandate that Austin produce a report comparing taxpayer dollars spent on Pride Month celebrations within the department compared to money spent on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

House Republicans have also introduced at least five amendments to block federal funding from supporting transgender surgeries and other gender-affirming care, including an amendment by Banks and Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., to block military reassignments if the request is based on a service member or relative seeking access to trans medical care.

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Two more proposed amendments would ban materials promoting “radical gender ideology” in Pentagon-run schools.

When asked for comment on the aforementioned topics in House Republicans’ amendment proposals, the Pentagon told Fox News Digital it did not comment on pending legislation.

It is not immediately clear how many of these amendments will get a vote on the House floor. That is up for the House Rules Committee to weigh during their Tuesday afternoon meeting.

However, it is highly unlikely that those culture war-related measures will get any Democratic support.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement last week urging Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., to “reject attempts to add poison pills or partisan riders” before the NDAA is brought to the floor.

“I urge Speaker Johnson to reject all attempts to politicize and weaponize the committee-passed defense bill and honor the long-held bipartisan traditions of the House Armed Services Committee when he brings the NDAA to the House floor next week,” Smith said.

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