Why does the most diverse Congress in U.S. history
need a rule to ensure diversity in its staff?
Newly adopted rules for the House of Representatives establish an Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness. While it fits in with general progressive ideology, some may question the move’s necessity, as each of the last four Congresses took the title of Most Diverse in History from the one before – a trend that continued on into the 116th. Back in 2018, a proud Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) boasted of how the House she would soon lead was set to be more than 60% women, minorities, and LGBTQ representatives.
Let that sink in for a moment: The most diverse House of Representatives in U.S. history just passed a rule change to make sure members – the majority of whom are not straight white men – hire enough staff members who also aren’t straight white men.
Nancy Goes For Woke
In a letter obtained by the Associated Press during 2018, Pelosi boasted of the diversity of the 116th Congress’ House of Representatives. “Embracing the value of diversity within our offices, especially in senior positions, will strengthen our ability to represent our constituents and craft solutions that benefit all Americans,” she wrote.
Pelosi already presides over the most “woke” set of Representatives to ever take up roost on Capitol Hill. Did she expect her band of progressive heroes would hire only the straight white guys they apparently love to hate? According to the AP, the Democrats already enforce staff diversity quotas in their own caucus, but Nancy wanted this practice established as a permanent office in the House.
Hidden In Plain Sight
As well as a newly minted Office to ensure every member of Congress has met his or her quota of diversity, several other nuggets of interest have been introduced, including:
- Providing mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies for House offices;
- Requiring indicted members to step down from any committee and leadership positions until disposition of the criminal case;
- Providing for automatic suspension of the debt limit if the House adopts a budget resolution (Gephardt rule);
- Authorizing the Speaker to intervene in litigation involving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;
- Prohibiting nondisclosure agreements from requiring notice or approval for employees to communicate with certain offices or entities, including the Committee on Ethics and the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights; and
- Requiring each House office to prominently display a statement of the rights and protections provided to House employees.
Not to suggest that these new rules will be used as a whip with which to lash Republicans, but a highly-partisan majority could well cause a lot of damage to day-to-day processes if they so desired.