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Rubio, Colleagues Oppose DOD Taxpayer Funded Travel to Pride Events

Jun 22, 2023 | Press Releases

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has been using taxpayer dollars to fly service members to Pride events in Washington, D.C. This is a gross misuse of taxpayer money, as these events have no relation to military training or defense. The DoD’s limited budget should only be used to ensure that the U.S. military is the most lethal fighting force in the history of the world, not to celebrate the Left’s new civic religion.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues introduced legislation to ban taxpayer-funded travel to Pride events and sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin regarding the DoD’s misguided priorities.

  • “The U.S. military is the top fighting force in the world, and the DoD’s purpose is to ensure it stays that way. Flying service members to Pride events is an insane use of taxpayer money. My colleagues and I are demanding answers on behalf of the American people and introducing legislation to guarantee this doesn’t happen again.” – Senator Rubio
  • “Offering free vacations to Democratic political events is in no way a part of the military’s mission. The Biden administration should use its defense dollars to strengthen America and prepare our troops for war, not subsidize trips to political rallies.” – Senator Cotton
  • “Using taxpayer money to fund traveling across the country to attend pride events is a brazenly inappropriate misuse of funds. Our military should be focused on killing America’s enemies and keeping Americans safe and secure, not intervening in domestic political and cultural controversies.” – Senator Cruz
  • “Congress uses taxpayer dollars to protect our servicemembers who put their lives on the line to defend America. I’m not sure taxpayers would understand why the Department of Defense is using these funds to pay for travel to Pride events.” – Senator Cassidy

The Banning Overspending On Non-Defense Objectives at Gratuitous Gatherings and Learning Events (BOONDOGGLE) Act would ensure that travel and transportation allowances are provided to service members for professional development training only if such training relates to the military occupational specialty of the member. The BOONDOGGLE Act also bans allowances for events related to the sexual orientation of the member, or that promote the sex, race, or religion of the member as superior or inferior to another sex, race, or religion.

In the letter to Secretary Austin, the senators wrote:

  • “The priority and focus of all expenditures should be to safeguard U.S. assets and interests, and anything that does not contribute to that mission is a waste of taxpayer funding.”
  • “Strained defense budgets call into question what DAF and the broader DoD are sacrificing in order to fund personnel trips to Washington, D.C. for Pride events that distract from building a more lethal force.”

Senator Rubio was joined in his efforts by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The bill text can be found here

The full text of the letter can be found here