Republicans who want to undermine the Biden administration’s “woke” agenda now have a blueprint: The Center for Renewing America released a list of more than 20 federal budget items it says promote critical race theory, gay rights or other controversial causes with taxpayers’ money.
The list is part of a broader budget the center published Wednesday, giving the newly ascendant GOP ammunition to use as it argues for a do-over on the 2023 spending process.
The plan would put the government on a path to budgetary balance within a decade while eschewing politically tough cuts to Social Security and Medicare, programs for the country’s seniors.
Big savings would come from halting the growth of Medicaid, the government’s health program for the poor, and imposing new restrictions on claiming disability or food stamps.
The budget, spearheaded by Russ Vought, who was budget director for President Donald Trump, takes particular aim at social engineering programs that have proliferated in agency budgets. The dollar amounts are small — for example, $15,000 to promote LGBTQ inclusion in engineering at the University of Illinois — but the symbolism is large.
“America cannot be saved unless the current grip of woke and weaponized government is broken,” Mr. Vought said in a memo explaining the new budget. “The battle cannot wait.”
He said the Biden administration has used taxpayer money to advance a radical agenda, turning government on a large swath of citizens unwilling to buy into pandemic mandates, bow to demands from Black Lives Matter activists or succumb to a “SWAT-swaggering FBI.”
But if money is fueling that agenda, a Congress willing to block the funding can starve those programs, Mr. Vought said.
“This Budget is an effort to separate the spending the nation desperately needs (a massive Navy, a completed border wall, infrastructure, etc.) from spending that is not just simply unaffordable but ruining communities and funding organizations that hate the country,” he wrote.
He defended the idea of leaving the big federal entitlement programs untouched while going after targeted cuts. He said that’s the only way to get average Americans on board.
“They are simply not going to buy the notion that their earned entitlements must be tweaked while the federal government is funding Bob Dylan statues in Mozambique or gay pride parades in Prague,” Mr. Vought said.
That last barb was aimed at the State Department, which included $5,000 in its 2023 budget to fund gay pride events in Prague. The department also earmarked $25,000 to train LGBT activists in Senegal and $4,500 for LGBT poetry readings in Latvia.
In the U.S., Mr. Vought said cutting targets include $1.4 million headed to Planting Justice, a California-based outfit that he said promotes “food justice” by fighting “systemic racism” in the food chain.
He also challenged $3.8 million the Labor Department plans to spend on UnidosUS, formerly the national Council of La Raza, a left-wing Hispanic advocacy group.
And he singled out “Hold onto your Butt,” a program to persuade San Francisco residents not to toss their cigarettes on the ground.