Pelosi teases ‘diversity office’ for Democrats’ new House majority
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats plan to double down on identity politics once they assume control of the House of Representatives, starting with a new office dedicated to ensuring “diversity” among Capitol Hill staff.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to regain her old role as Speaker of the House in January, announced plans for an “independent diversity office” in a letter to colleagues immediately after this month’s midterm elections, the Associated Press reports. Republicans kept the Senate but lost the House, which they had controlled since 2010.
Democrats “take great pride” in a House majority whose members are expected to be more than 60 percent female, LGBT, or other minorities, Pelosi said in the letter.
“We know that the diversity in our ranks is a strength and a reflection of the American people,” she wrote. “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.”
Accordingly, a draft proposal from Democrats on the House Rules Committee proposes an “independent diversity office” tasked with ensuring the House employs a “diverse workforce with qualified candidates that is reflective of our Members and the districts they represent,” because “public servants working for the People’s House should reflect the faces of America.”
Pelosi, Reps. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Alcee Hastings of Florida, Norma Torres of California, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida are credited helping develop the plan, as are the House Progressive Caucus and Administration Committee.
Also listed as bullet points for “restor[ing] inclusion & diversity” are “amend[ing] House rules to clearly and distinctly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” and “ensur[ing] religious expression” – but only by clarifying rules to allow Muslim headwear to be worn in the House chamber.
The AP explains that Democrats already apply a similar program to their own caucus, but the House Diversity Initiative would establish a permanent office that applies to the House as a whole. It would be led by human resource professionals and “diversity” experts, and work with outside groups to recruit, retain, and train for advancement minority staffers.
The diversity plans are among House Democrats’ first hints of what they plan to do with their newfound power, indicating different priorities than the dinner-table economic concerns they emphasized during the campaign.
Pelosi reportedly instructed Democrats to talk about healthcare instead of Planned Parenthood in their campaign strategy, and downplayed the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump. After the election, however, she hinted the House will renew efforts to obtain Trump’s tax returns and pursue other unspecified investigations.
While the GOP’s ability to confirm pro-life judges and other appointees actually strengthened with the slight expansion of their Senate majority, losing the House means that significant pro-life policy gains such as defunding Planned Parenthood or banning late-term abortion are unlikely for the next two years.