A proposal from House Republicans that would have restricted funding for officials and training focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was rejected by the House this week, though the Republican Party has enough members currently in place to control the chamber as a whole. There were enough Republicans breaking with the party line to sink the initiative.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, is generally understood as a formalized approach to the general concepts the moniker references. The proposal under consideration was in the form of an amendment to a funding bill for that agency and its various operations, and the measure was sponsored by Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.). A full 254 members voted against the proposal, while only 181 in the 435-member chamber were reported as in favor, sinking it. A full 42 Republicans voted against Miller’s plan. Miller is known as a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Elsewhere, Republican politicians have made trying to undermine efforts at diversity, equity, and inclusion a key cause for their political work. When recently considering the latest bill to fund the nation’s defense apparatus in the next fiscal year, the House also rejected an amendment sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and supported by Republicans generally aligned with him that would have restricted diversity initiatives at the Pentagon. Republicans have also questioned such efforts at the State Department, including in a Congressional hearing about agency funding that featured a current official named Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley as a witness. Republican questions there featured a hypothetical scenario in which white men identified as Black women.
“If you have the same people sitting at the table with similar backgrounds, similar experiences, you are going to have a very narrow range of options,” Abercrombie-Winstanley said, discussing her support for proactive inclusion. “That is why we’re trying to broaden the aperture in that fashion.”