WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairs and senior Members sent a letter to Acting Director Russell Vought, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), seeking information about the Trump Administration’s cancellation of diversity and anti-racism training in the federal government.

Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Chairman Jamie Raskin, Subcommittee on National Security Chairman Stephen F. Lynch, Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Subcommittee on Environment Chairman Harley Rouda, and Committee Vice Chairman Jimmy Gomez led all Members of the Subcommittee on Government Operations on the letter.  Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone, Jennifer Wexton, and Donald S. Beyer also signed the letter to OMB.

“OMB’s memorandum and President Trump’s Executive Order exhibited a level of ignorance rarely seen at executive levels in government or the private sector,” wrote the Members.  “For instance, they hyperventilated that diversity trainings were ‘un-American propaganda’ and ‘race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating.’  These trainings help Americans to understand the history of race and racism in the United States, how that legacy affects government policy, and how they can identify and correct unconscious biases that affect important policy and personnel decisions.”

On September 4, 2020, OMB issued a memorandum instructing federal agencies to “identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory’ [and] ‘white privilege,’” and to “identify all available avenues” to cancel those contracts and redirect obligated federal funds. 

Following the release of the memorandum, President Trump issued an Executive Order banning diversity training in federal agencies, at companies that receive federal government contracts, and within organizations that are awarded federal grants or other awards.

OMB’s memorandum and the President’s Executive Order may undercut the actions of at least one federal agency, which scheduled an anti-racism training in direct response to George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police.  The Administration, however, has attacked anti-racism trainings and refused to entertain meaningful reforms.

The Members warned that the Administration’s actions threaten to “undermine decades of equal employment opportunity efforts and blindfold policymakers who should be working to eliminate racial disparities in health care, employment, and other critical sectors of society.”  “In our view, OMB’s memorandum and President Trump’s executive order are steps backward for society,” the Members added.

The Members request that OMB provide the documents by October 13, 2020.

Click here to read the letter.