December 16, 2022
Rep. Pressley, Chairwoman Maloney Introduce Bills to Codify Racial Equity Protections
Bills Support Provisions of President Biden’s Executive Order 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, introduced two bills to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance racial equity in the federal government and implementation of Executive Order 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” The Federal Government Equity Improvement Act and the Equity in Agency Planning Act would ensure that federal agencies continue this important work for years to come.
In April 2022, Rep. Pressley joined Administration officials at a White House event to announce the executive orders, which followed calls from Congresswoman Pressley and House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney for robust data collection, assessment tools, and stakeholder engagement to ensure the success of the initiative. Video of the event is available here.
“Centering racial equity and justice in policy and administrative decisions can change and save lives,” said Rep. Pressley. “Building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Executive Order, our bills would provide essential tools to advance equity through data collection and critical stakeholder engagement. The federal government is expansive in its reach and a dedicated commitment to systems that center and advance equity across agencies is essential and long overdue. I’m grateful to Chairwoman Maloney and the White House for their partnership in this effort.”
“The Biden-Harris Administration has laid the groundwork to ensure racial equity is central in its decision-making process across the federal government thanks to President Biden’s groundbreaking Executive Order. Today, I am proud to introduce legislation to help fulfill the Administration’s mission by giving them the essential tools to make sure that federal policy works for everyone,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “These bills will support the critical work of removing systemic barriers across the federal government and ensure that all voices will be heard.”
The Federal Government Equity Improvement Act would establish several intra-agency and inter-agency working groups to allow agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders to share best practices in the collection and use of data for assessing barriers to equity, among other things.
The Equity in Agency Planning Act wouldamend various agency performance planning requirements to ensure that agencies prioritize improving the equitable provision of services in their agency goals.
On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed the historic executive order on his first day in office, directing the Domestic Policy Council and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to work with federal agencies to identify and remove barriers to equal opportunity and programmatic benefits for people of color and other underserved groups.
On October 15, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney and Rep. Pressley sent a letter to Ambassador Susan Rice, Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and OMB Director Shalanda Young underscoring the need for robust data, assessment tools, and stakeholder engagement to ensure the successful implementation of Executive Order 13985.
On April 14, 2022, Chairwoman Maloney and Rep. Pressley issued statements applauding the Biden-Harris Administration for convening all federal agencies to present their first-ever Equity Action Plans.
Click here for a one-pager on both bills.
Click here for bill text on the Federal Government Equity Improvement Act.
Click here for bill text on the Equity in Agency Planning Act.