Republicans will look to clean up “wokeness” in the U.S. military if they are able to regain the majority in Congress after this year’s midterm elections, according to a leading House Republican.
“I think it’s one of our very top priorities to clean up the mess the administration has made with the excessive and dangerous COVID mandates on our troops at a time where we have historically low recruitment,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told Military.com Tuesday.
Republicans in Congress have frequently criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the nation’s armed forces, including COVID-19 vaccine mandates that have threatened to kick service members out of the military for not receiving the jab and mandatory diversity training that has been compared to critical race theory initiatives.
Banks, a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve since 2012, vowed that the GOP would not back off of issues they have been vocal about over the last two years if they are able to secure a majority.
“Those are issues that we’ve been very passionate about in the minority, and I guarantee we’ll be just as passionate about them when we get the majority,” Banks said. “When it comes to the posture hearings and the legislative process of the NDAA, I think you can expect more of the same from what you’ve seen the last couple of years.”
Banks comments come at a time when the military has struggled to meet recruiting goals, with the Army falling 25% short of the number in 2022, while the other branches were forced to dip into their pool of delayed entry program candidates heavily to squeak by, putting them behind for 2023.
Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., the House Armed Services Committee ranking member, said that the GOP will be putting military personnel issues at the forefront of the agenda if his party retakes control of the chamber next year. Like Banks, he also vowed to take aim at “woke” policies in the military.
“All this wokeness in the military, we are going to be aggressively trying to root that stuff out,” Rogers told Military.com, arguing doing so would help with recruitment and retention.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.