At Subcommittee Hearing, Democrats Underscore How Republican Political Stunts Threaten Military Readiness and National Security
Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2024)—Today, Rep. Robert Garcia, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs, led Democrats in examining the Biden Administration’s investments in national security and highlighting Republicans’ lack of concern for real national security threats demonstrated by holding repeated hearings falsely claiming that diversity and inclusion efforts harm military readiness.
“I can’t really understand why we’re holding a second hearing on this ridiculous topic, when we could be working in a bipartisan way to address real challenges to our national security...We should also be talking about our real national security threats. Our allies in Ukraine need aid immediately. We need to support Taiwan and provide aid in the Middle East. We could hold hearings that use data and evidence to demonstrate that American aid boosts our national security at minimal cost and highlight how our aid safeguards democracy and freedom against brutal aggressors,” said Ranking Member Garcia in his opening statement.
The hearing included testimony from Brigadier General Ty Seidule (Ret.), Professor Emeritus, United States Military Academy West Point; Mr. Will Thibeau, Director of American Military Project, Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life; and Mr. Matthew Lohmeier, former Space Force Lieutenant Colonel.
Committee Democrats criticized Republicans’ lack of concern for real national security threats and continued politicization of the military in their attempts to fearmonger about “progressivism.”
- Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost said: “Service members aren’t leaving the military because of DEI training or because a military base was renamed or because someone accessed an abortion...Folks [are] worrying that service members won’t be able to get pay if Republicans in Congress shutdown the government. These are the real things that resonate with the American people because these are the issues that this committee needs to be addressing.”
- Ranking Member Jamie Raskin emphasized how Senator Tuberville’s 10-month hold on military promotions was a clear political stunt: “Senator Tuberville interfered with hundreds and hundreds of military promotions for many, many months in order to stop women in the military from having their complete full access to reproductive choice and to healthcare. Now, who do you think is politicizing the military?”
Committee Democrats showed that the military has a long history of increasing diversity to create a stronger force.
- Rep. Katie Porter asserted: “Historically, when the military has been progressive—has gone beyond where other policies may be, has tried to encourage diversity or welcome people to be diverse and to learn about each other—there has been no harm to force readiness.”
- Ranking Member Garcia emphasized: “We need to harness the talents of every American, especially in a difficult recruiting environment. That means we need a climate that welcomes people of all backgrounds, that actively combats bigotry and extremism, and then makes all service members ensure that they are protected and supported.”