Don't Say 'Inmate': Biden Admin Using Taxpayer Dollars To Push Woke Language Guides

Republican Troy Nehls unveils bill to strip funding from agencies that promote the left-wing guidelines

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
February 17, 2023

Federal agencies under President Joe Biden are using taxpayer dollars to promote "inclusive" language guides, instructing Americans to abandon common terms like "homeless people" for left-wing alternatives like "people experiencing unsheltered homelessness"—prompting backlash from Republicans who want to defund the woke initiatives.

The recommendations, from agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health, focus on "non-stigmatizing" language, which means eliminating terms such as "inmate" and "alcoholic" from common use. Instead, the CDC advises, Americans should say "persons who are incarcerated or detained" and "persons with alcohol use disorder," respectively.

The NIH Style Guide, meanwhile, advises people to say "gender affirmation" or "gender confirmation" rather than "sex change." They should similarly avoid the term "hermaphrodite" and should never "misgender" someone, which is "using a word or address that does not correctly reflect" the gender identity of a "transgender or gender-diverse person."

Rep. Troy Nehls (R., Texas), who introduced legislation last week to strip funding from agencies that produce such lists, says the Biden administration "must be held accountable" for misusing taxpayer funds on left-wing causes.

"It is shameful that unelected bureaucrats in the Biden administration's executive federal agencies are using taxpayer dollars and federal resources to suggest Americans should utilize gender-neutral and inclusive language," said Nehls.

Critics say the language guides are emblematic of the Biden administration's prioritization of left-wing hobby horses over issues that agencies are actually tasked with addressing. The CDC and NIH rolled out the language guides amid the COVID pandemic, during which more than 500,000 Americans died from the illness during the Biden administration.

Nehls's "Productivity Over Pronouns Act of 2023" would prohibit federal funds to agency programs that provide guidance on "inclusive language," "pronouns," and "preferred terms," according to the congressman.

The CDC and NIH did not respond to requests for comment.

The agencies' terms and pronoun lists stem from an executive order Biden signed on his first day in office that called for a "comprehensive approach" to advance "equity for all" throughout the federal government.

"Each agency must assess whether, and to what extent, its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and other underserved groups," according to Executive Order 13985.

Biden on Thursday followed up with another executive order "further advancing racial equity," which calls for a "whole-of-government approach" to "embed equity" in "all aspects of federal decision-making."

The CDC and NIH are not the only agencies adopting left-wing language guides in light of the Biden administration's executive orders. The Federal Aviation Administration, whose server crash in January grounded all U.S. air traffic for the first time since the September 11 terror attacks, advises employees to say "flight deck" rather than "cockpit" and "aircrew" rather than "airman," the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Biden's equity decrees have also made their way overseas: Citing "diversity," the U.S. ambassador to France replaced artwork honoring Revolutionary War commanders and a Founding Father with portraits of Hispanic-American celebrities, the Free Beacon reported.