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US House Office of Diversity and Inclusion to be disbanded as part of government spending bill

The US House Office of Diversity and Inclusion will be dissolved as part of the government spending bill that passed Friday, the office’s director said in a statement Friday.

Sesha Joi Moon said in her statement to CNN that her department will be replaced by the Office of Talent Management under the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will close effective Monday, Moon said. The change comes as DEI programs and initiatives across the country are facing increasing attacks from critics and Republican lawmakers.

The office was first formed in March 2020 with a mission of creating a congressional workforce that reflected the makeup of the nation.

According to its website, the office’s key duties have included financial management, candidate services, member services, research and data analytics and professional development.

Moon said while she plans to transition out of her role later this year, some team members will stay on and work for the newly formed Office of Talent Management.

“On behalf of ODI, it has been an honor to help ensure that the United States Congress embodied a qualified and representative workforce that reflected the country’s vast tapestry,” Moon said. “We would like to thank the Office of the Speaker of the House, Office of the House Democratic Leader, and Committee on House Administration, as well as the entire House community for their support throughout the 116th, 117th, and 118th Congresses.”

Members of the Congressional Black Associates, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association, the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association and the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus released a joint statement on Monday saying they were “disheartened” by the loss of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The statement said the office “played a pivotal role in increasing diversity in Congress.”

“Unfortunately, the politicization of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives has led to those resources being stripped away from Capitol Hill staff despite their impact,” the statement said. “Eradicating efforts that promote diversity and inclusion could reduce opportunities for staffers of color, creating further barriers to representation in a body that already does not adequately reflect the diversity of the country it represents.”

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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