Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced a bill to ban taxpayer-funded drag queen shows on military bases, calling the shows a "gross misuse of taxpayer funds."
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines (R., Mont.), prohibits using Department of Defense funds and facilities "to host, advertise, or otherwise support an adult cabaret performance," which the bill defines as "a performance that features topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dances, strippers, or male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to prurient interest," Fox News reported.
"Allowing the DoD to become a branch of [the] far-left helping to promote their radical gender ideology by hosting and promoting drag queen performances is a threat to our national security and gross misuse of taxpayer funds. This must be stopped immediately," Daines said in a statement.
Daines fears the military's embrace of drag queens and other woke ideology is also crippling its ongoing recruitment struggles. In an attempt to attract the younger generation, the Navy promoted a "nonbinary" drag queen to be its "digital ambassador," the Washington Free Beacon reported last week. In FY 2022, the Army fell 25 percent—or 15,000 active-duty soldiers—short of its recruiting goal, and the Navy is expected to fall 8,000 short of its recruitment goal in FY 2023.
"When it comes to the crisis of military recruitment, it is clear that activities like 'Drag Story Time' only weaken cohesion and morale and further degrade the recruitment and retention of men and women serving our country in uniform," Daines wrote in a Tuesday letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
Austin, when asked in a March House Armed Services Committee hearing about drag shows on military bases, repeatedly insisted that "drag shows are not something that the Department of Defense supports or funds." During the hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) pressed Austin on the issue, citing several news reports of drag shows on U.S. bases in Nevada, Montana, and Germany. Another top military official admitted to Gaetz that the Army's policy of forcing women to shower with men who identify as woman is harming recruiting efforts.
Republican senators Tom Cotton (Ark.), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Ted Budd (N.C.), and Marco Rubio (Fla.) cosponsored the bill.
"Our military’s mission is clear: to provide the military forces needed to deter and win wars and to protect the security of our country and our allies," Daines said.