Recently, I've read about Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw launching a campaign against diversity training in the US Army:

We won’t let our military fall to woke ideology,

I see that they are against such programs.

But as such programs are juridically legal, what would they do with those expected wistleblowers reports?

  • 1
    The president, as commander in chief has a lot of leeway for things like this (he/she can order things to happen in the military). But, as the answers below describe it, congress as a whole (i.e, by votes in both chambers), has the power of the purse, they get to decide where money is spent. Two Senators get to make as much noise as they want
    – Flydog57
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 20:08

2 Answers 2


Congress can pass legislation to end or defund the programs

In the United States, Congress determines what the military is allowed to do and provides funding for those activities by passing legislation every year. Specifically, the National Defense Authorization Act (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act) appropriates money for the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense (or for that matter, any part of the Federal Government) cannot spend money on any activity that Congress has not appropriated funding for. Given that the diversity programs are carried out by people paid to give instruction, and are attended by people who are paid as federal employees to go to them, a removal of funding for these activities would effectively ban them from taking place within the military.

It would be a trivial legislative exercise to amend the next NDAA to remove all authorization for funding any of these diversity programs, provided there are sufficient votes among Congressmen to do so.

What is "jurdicially legal" can be changed by Congress through the passing of legislation

Senator Cotton and Representative Crenshaw are proposing to do just that.

Crenshaw and Cotton can do anything they want with the "reports"

They're probably just going to collect a bunch of anecdotes to support the position they've already decided to take against these programs they don't like. It doesn't really matter.

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    Ok. That still doesn't matter because Congress can just change what is juridicially valid in the matter described above.
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 14:11
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    Asking for a report on something may cause an organisation to stop doing that activity. If someone was asked “Please provide us a list of times your new cadets are forming naked human pyramids”, rather than saying “we’ll be doing it five times next month, six times the month afterwards, and two times in the month following that”, they’ll probably say “as of today, there’ll be no more naked human pyramids”.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 1:45
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    @Joe However, Congress can follow up on any incidents of concern which may be reported using those powers. This is, of course, how whistleblower cases normally work. Some "random" person "blows the whistle" to relevant authorities who then use their investigative powers to (ideally) get to the bottom of what happened (or, cynically - and frequently in Congress - to grandstand.) This is the point of whistleblower laws in general. They can't investigate incidents they don't know about.
    – reirab
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 15:45
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    @Joe The tweet referenced by the article is wrong on that point. Indeed, members of Congress are exactly who members of the military are supposed to contact regarding such issues and such communications are explicitly protected under 10 USC 1034, which specifically lists members of Congress or an Inspector General as being the relevant authorities for military whistleblowers to contact. There is quite literally no authority more relevant than members of Congress for government whistleblower reports.
    – reirab
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 19:30
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    Unfortunately, that's part of the problem with journalists sourcing their information from random people on Twitter.
    – reirab
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 19:38

They are announcing a platform position for the next election, approximately "If Republicans are elected, we will end these diversity training programs.".

The purpose for asking for these reports is to use them as campaign material.


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