A group of House Republicans has introduced a bill to ‘prohibit discrimination’ by the federal government in race, color or national origin – on the same day President Joe Biden unveiled a budget with repeated references to programs that promote ”equity.’
The bill, authored GOP Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin, states that the government shall not ‘intentionally discriminate’ on matters of federal employment, federal contracting, or other activities.
It would prohibit the feds from granting a preference to ‘any person or group based in whole or in part on race, color, or national origin,’ according to the bill, which was released Thursday.
Tiffany’s measure is cosponsored by Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah, and Rep. Michelle Steel of Florida, three prominent minority members. The House GOP includes four black Republicans this year, a modern record.
Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) has introduced legislation to ‘prohibit discrimination’ by the feds based on race, color, or national orientation. The bill would also apply to contractors
Supporters say they are organizing additional cosponsors, and Tiffany’s office has been in touch with former Donald Trump senior official Stephen Miller, whose group America First Legal, which commits itself to ‘true equality under law.’
It follows a move in the last Congress by Rep. Paul Gosar to eliminate federal funds to an entity that uses Affirmative Action in hiring.
‘If we are serious about ending discrimination in the U.S., the first step is for the government to stop doing the discrimination,’ Tiffany tweeted about the bill.
The bill also applies to any ‘state or private entity’ that gets federal financial assistance, stating that they may not ‘discriminate’ or grant a preference in any contract, employment, or educational institution.
This would presumably have wide-ranging effects, although the Supreme Court has already issued a series or rulings on university affirmative action programs.
Donalds issued his own tweet, writing: ‘The difference between equity and equality is stark. While the Biden administration stands for an equity agenda with prescribed outcomes, I am proud to join Rep. Tiffany and my colleagues in promoting equality of opportunity. The message linked to an article about the bill in the Daily Caller.
Organizers did not identify a Senate cosponsor, and the measure would likely meet strong opposition from the Democratic majority in the other chamber. President Biden championed diversity efforts in his administration and has set records for diversity in his judicial appoints, 74 per cent of which went to women and 46 per cent to women of color as of the end of last year.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said if the government is ‘serious about ending discrimination in the U.S., the first step is for the government to stop doing the discriminating’
Also cosponsoring the measure is Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah, who is one of four black Republicans in the House
Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., is another cosigner
The bill title says it prohibits discrimination and ‘preferential treatment’
It would apply to federal contracts as well as subcontracts, amid small business laws focused on ‘disadvantaged’ individuals
The push comes as Biden released a new budget plan that touts his ‘equity agenda,’ which begins by referencing an executive order he signed his first day in office ‘directing the entire Federal government to advance an ambitious equity and racial justice agenda—not as a one-year project, but as part of a sustained commitment to make the promise of America real for every American, including rural communities, communities of color, women and girls, Tribal communities, LGBTQI+ individuals, people with disabilities, and communities impacted by persistent poverty.’
It lists programs to combat housing discrimination and homelessness, and calls for $3 billion in spending to reform eviction policies through access to lawyers and rental assistance.
Although courts have struck down explicit racial set-asides, programs such as the 8(a) business development program make the goal of awarding 5 per cent of all contracts to firms controlled by ‘socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.’
The new push on ending federal ‘discrimination’ comes as Biden leaned heavily on the language of ‘equity’ in his budget, using the term 63 times in the document, Fox News found.
It found half as many references to the word ‘border’ and only two mentions of ‘fentanyl,’ while the word ‘transgender‘ featured eight times, and ‘queer’ seven times – but the word ‘opioids’ was mentioned four times.
‘Equity’, a key focus, was mentioned in the context of racial equity, equal access to healthcare, and equity for veterans.
Donalds and Tiffany tweeted about the bill
President Joe Biden speaks about his 2024 budget proposal at the Finishing Trades Institute on Thursday
The White House on Thursday released a video on social media promoting the budget plan
The document has been published online. It is not thought likely to pass
It has largely replaced the word ‘equality’ in progressive circles. Equality means offering everyone the same opportunity, while equity means ensuring everyone achieves the same outcome.
Supporters say equity helps eliminate unfair barriers which make it harder for some to achieve their full potential. Critics say it often involves unfair bias against certain groups deemed as successful, and that equal outcomes are often achieved artificially, by lowering overall standards.
‘On his first day in office, the President signed a sweeping Executive Order directing the entire Federal Government to advance an ambitious equity and racial justice agenda—not as a one-year project, but as part of a sustained commitment to make the promise of America real for every American,’ the document reads.
‘Since then, the Administration has made significant progress advancing equity across the Federal Government, including by releasing a second Executive Order that strengthens its ability to create opportunities for communities and populations that have been historically underserved, and continues to build an America in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential,’ it continues.
Biden’s 2024 plan is seen as unlikely to pass.
Analysts are describing the proposal as a blueprint for the issues he will run on in 2024, if he decides to seek re-election.
Biden also threw down the gauntlet to his Republican rivals, demanding they too unveil their spending plans.
‘I’ve now laid out my budget,’ he said.
‘Republicans in Congress should do the same.’
Biden said his plan was designed to help ordinary working people
Biden’s plan would cut deficits by $2.9 trillion over the next decade – a proposal that Republicans already intend to reject.
On Thursday, the president spoke at a union training center in Philadelphia, discussing his plan for the government’s finances and how his values contrasted with Republican priorities.
‘I just laid out the bulk of my budget,’ Biden said.
‘Republicans in Congress should do the same thing. Then we can sit down and see where we disagree.’
Yet the president doubted that Republican members of Congress could make their numbers match their calls for a balanced budget and he suggested that any efforts to do so could come at the expense of middle-class families.
‘How are they going to make the math work?’ Biden said. ‘What are they going to cut?’
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the president’s proposed deficit reduction was inadequate.
‘It just seems like it’s going to create the biggest government in history.
‘I don’t think that’s what we need at this time,’ he said.
In addition to deficit reduction, Biden’s 10-year budget largely revolves around the idea of taxing the wealthy to help fund programs for the middle class, older adults and families.
It would raise $4.7 trillion from higher taxes, with an additional $800 billion in savings from changes to programs.
The tax increases include a reversal of the 2017 tax cuts made by President Donald Trump on people earning more than $400,000 a year.
Biden has floated a new 25 percent minimum tax on households worth $100 million or more.
Also, the tax that companies pay on stock buybacks would rise fourfold and those earning more than $400,000 would pay an additional Medicare tax that would help to keep the program solvent beyond the year 2050.
Medicare could negotiate on the prices of more prescription drugs, helping to save the government money.
Accompanying that would be $2.6 trillion worth of new spending, including the restoration of the expanded child tax credit that would give families as much as $3,600 per child, compared with the current level of $2,000.
That credit would be ‘fully refundable,’ which means households could receive all of that sum even if they don’t owe any taxes.
The budget proposal would impose a $35-a-month cap on insulin prices, matching a change that Biden already put in place for Medicare recipients.
At a time of increased tensions with Russia and China, the budget shows a decline in military spending as a share of the U.S. economy over the next decade.
But federal spending would be equal to roughly one-quarter of economic output as the spending on Social Security and Medicare climbs, essentially keeping the government the same size as it is currently.
The budget would seek to close the ‘carried interest’ loophole that allows wealthy hedge fund managers and others to pay their taxes at a lower rate, and prevent billionaires from being able to set aside large amounts of their holdings in tax-favored retirement accounts.
The plan also projects saving $24 billion over 10 years by removing a tax subsidy for cryptocurrency transactions.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk