EXCLUSIVE: The Biden administration is under fire for spending more than $20,000 in taxpayer dollars to fund drag shows in Ecuador.
House Republicans are demanding answers from the State Department over a September decision to approve a $20,600 grant to Ecuador’s Abraham Lincoln North American Cultural Center. The grant is for the center to provide three workshops, 13 drag performances and the creation of a two-minute documentary.
“President Biden has ‘wokified’ the State Department and is misusing taxpayer money to implement a radical and unpopular agenda abroad,” said Congressman Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. “This initiative does not enhance national security, advance national interests or support U.S. foreign policy.”
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Biggs and nearly a dozen other GOP lawmakers sent a letter Thursday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting information about the decision behind the grant. Republicans are also eager to learn if the State Department is funding other drag performances with taxpayer money.
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“Promoting the radical Left’s woke ideology is not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars and promoting drag does not relate in any way to the objective above,” the letter said. “Instead of funding drag theater programs, your department should focus its limited resources on advancing America’s national interests, not the left’s agenda.”
Fox News was the first to report on the grant earlier this month. The State Department has defended its decision to issue the nearly $21,000 appropriation, saying the program is strategic to ensure “diversity, inclusion and representation to equity and accessibility” in Ecuador.
“Recent data suggest an alarming and deadly rise in violence against LGBTQI+ persons in Ecuador,” said a department spokesperson. “The program will advance key U.S. values of diversity and the inclusion of LGBTQI+ communities as well as promote the acceptance of communities that are disproportionately affected by violence.”
The State Department did not return requests for comment on this story.
In recent weeks, House Republicans have introduced legislation barring the use of federal funds for sexually explicit programs, including drag shows and drag queen story hour events. The move has come as a number of these events have drawn public outrage from public school parents across the country.