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Legislation seeks to cap pay for diversity employees at Department of Defense

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., introduced companion legislation capping pay at $31,000.

Published: February 1, 2023 5:40pm

Updated: February 2, 2023 6:42am

(The Center Square) -

Two Republican Congressmen have filed legislation that would limit the pay of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion employees at the Department of Defense to that of front-line soldiers.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, introduced legislation Wednesday that would cap the amount of compensation for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion employees at the Department of Defense to the rank of E-5, which is $31,000 a year. U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-Indiana, introduced companion legislation in the House.

The legislation would prevent the Department of Defense from employing military or civilians above the rank of E-5 in DEI-related roles. It would also require employees to be reassigned within 180 days of enactment.

"Government bureaucrats promoting divisive ideology should not earn a higher paycheck than the soldiers on the front lines defending our country," Cotton said in a statement. "This bill will make sure the Department of Defense’s budget focuses on strengthening our national security, not paying administrators to solve social justice problems that don’t exist."

Banks said bureaucrats shouldn't be paid more than troops.

“Bureaucrats are getting paid more to teach anti-Americanism than patriotic servicemembers who stand ready to fight and die for their country," he said in a statement. "It’s a travesty and it sends a dangerous message to troops and recruits about the Pentagon’s priorities and values. Funding poisonous ideologies will destroy our military’s readiness and cohesion. This bill ensures more of the DoD’s budget is spent on the warfighters who enable the U.S. military to accomplish its mission, which is to win wars."

In fiscal year 2023, the Department of Defense had a budget of $773 billion.

Democrats control the U.S. Senate.

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