House Office of Diversity and Inclusion Disbanded Due to Spending Bill

Employees in the office will be part of the Office of Talent Management, which is part of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.

The House of Representatives’ Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) was disbanded on March 22 due to the spending bill that was enacted last week.

The $1.2 trillion bill to fund the remaining 70 percent of the government, which included funding the legislative branch, mandated the closure of the office, which was founded in March 2020, when Democrats controlled the House.

Employees in the office will be part of the Office of Talent Management, which is part of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s “website, mailboxes, and social media platforms will remain active until further notice,” according to the office’s former director, Sesha Joi Moon, who released a statement.

“On behalf of ODI, it has been an honor to help ensure that the United States Congress embodied a qualified and representative workforce that reflected the country’s vast tapestry,” she said. “We would like to thank the Office of the Speaker of the House, Office of the House Democratic Leader, and Committee on House Administration, as well as the entire House community for their support throughout the 116th, 117th, and 118th Congresses.”

The office was nonpartisan and nonlegislative whose mission was to “help employing offices create and cultivate a congressional workforce within [the House] that is reflective of the American people,” according to its website.

“The office envisions to serve as an essential resource in helping to advance representation in the congressional workforce by delivering optimal services to the House community,” the description said. “The office’s mission and vision is reflected in its overall strategic goal, which is to ‘put the people in the people’s house.’”

Along with ensuring “capabilities for communications, operations, and financial management,” the office provided “candidate services, member services, research and data analytics, programming, and professional development,” according to the website.

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The core values of the office included service, collaboration, integrity, commitment, and belonging.

The Tri-Caucus Staff Associations—which includes the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus—in a statement expressed that it is “disheartened” over the closure and blamed the “politicization of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives” that “has led to those resources being stripped away from Capitol Hill staff despite their impact.”

Moreover, said the three caucuses, “eradicating efforts that promote diversity and inclusion could reduce opportunities for staffers of color, creating further barriers to representation in a body that already does not adequately reflect the diversity of the country it represents.”

Nonetheless, the office was only a part of the DEI initiatives that currently permeate the U.S. government.

Those who want to be employed or promoted at the State Department must complete a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) requirement, according to documentation obtained by The Epoch Times last year.

“Foreign Service employees are expected to demonstrate impact in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by progressively building upon the skills and qualities outlined below,” states the document entitled “Decision Criteria for Tenure and Promotion in the Foreign Service 2022–2025.”

The Foreign Service consists of 16,000 career diplomats at embassies and consulates worldwide. Some work in Washington at the department in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.

The DEI aspect is one of the five core precepts along with communication, leadership, management, and substantive and technical experience “competencies a Foreign Service employee must develop over the course of their career, from entry through tenure, and up to consideration for promotion into and within the Senior Foreign Service,” states the document.

These standards apply to all members of the Foreign Service, and the department’s Selection Board unequivocally considers these factors for members in order to enter or move up in the department.

Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to have DEI in the federal workforce.

In February, President Biden enacted an executive order on “further advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government.”

DEI has come under fire, namely from the Right, for rewarding people based on identity politics, as opposed to merit.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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