A leading conservative grassroots organization is putting its weight behind new legislation introduced Wednesday to eliminate all federal diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and funding for them.

Heritage Action for America issued a key vote urging lawmakers to co-sponsor the Dismantle DEI Act, a bill championed by Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, and Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas. At least 20 other members of Congress have already signed on as co-sponsors.

“Contrary to President [Joe] Biden’s claims, DEI policies have nothing to do with equity or inclusion, and instead perpetuate the very discrimination and division the Left claims to be fighting,” Ryan Walker, executive vice president of Heritage Action, told The Daily Signal. “The American people have had enough of the political spin and DEI indoctrination that has made our country weaker and more divided than ever.”

The legislation covers federal agencies, any contractors who receive federal funding, organizations that obtain federal grants, and educational accreditation entities. It requires the government’s personnel office to eliminate DEI policies and procedures, and affords an individual the right to sue.

By urging members of Congress to support the bill, Heritage Action is attempting to build on its success with other legislative measures, including the recently passed Equal Representation Act. Following its decision to key vote co-sponsorship of that bill, more than 135 lawmakers in both the House and Senate joined as supporters.

Vance promised to “root out DEI” from the federal government by eliminating programs and cutting off funding.

“The DEI agenda is a destructive ideology that breeds hatred and racial division,” he said in a statement. “It has no place in our federal government or anywhere else in our society.”

Cloud specifically cited examples of the Biden administration’s embrace of DEI as a reason for acting now:

  • The Food and Drug Administration’s guidance in 2022 prompted some states to ration COVID-19 treatments based on race.
  • The Defense Department authorized a $2 million contract for DEI programming and consulting at schools run by the military.

“This bill is a necessary step to restore merit and equality, not equity, in America’s government institutions, and eliminate the DEI bureaucracy that sows division and wastes taxpayer money,” Cloud said. “It’s absurd to fund these divisive policies, especially using Americans’ tax dollars, and it’s time for Congress to put an end to them once and for all.”

Following the race riots in 2020, conservatives began sounding the alarm on the government’s role promoting DEI. In September 2020, then-President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling it a “destructive ideology.” Trump banned race and sex stereotyping and prohibited federal grants.

Biden immediately reversed Trump’s order on his first day in office on Jan. 20, 2021.

Other co-sponsors of the bill include Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Rick Scott, R-Fla., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; and Eric Schmitt, R-Mo.; along with Reps. Troy Nehls, R-Texas; Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y.; Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz.; Diana Harshbarger, R-Tenn.; Barry Moore, R-Ala.; Andy Ogles, R-Tenn.; Mary Miller, R-Ill.; Randy Weber, R-Texas; Keith Self, R-Texas; Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.; Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Clay Higgins, R-La.; Rudy Yakym, R-Ind.; Mike Collins, R-Ga.; Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported the news of the Dismantle DEI Act.