“We cannot allow the CCP, or any hostile nation for that matter, to continue to infiltrate and exploit our higher education system.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) has introduced the Safeguarding American Education from Foreign Control Act, which would tighten the enforcement of rules surrounding foreign donations to higher education institutions and their contracts with foreign entities. This legislation levels a direct response to efforts by the Chinese Communist party to exert financial influence over American educational institutions and students. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), Senator Ted Budd (R-NC), and Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) join as original cosponsors. Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) has introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Senator Vance’s legislation would require American universities to report gifts of any value from foreign adversaries and would require the Department of Education to share all open and future Section 117 reports with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The institutions tasked with educating America’s future leaders have been repeatedly exposed for seeking money from our adversaries, especially the Chinese Communist Party,” said Senator Vance. “We cannot allow the CCP, or any hostile nation for that matter, to continue to infiltrate and exploit our higher education system. The American people deserve to see every single dollar of foreign donations going to U.S. colleges and universities, and that’s exactly what this legislation would do.”
“China has funneled nearly half a billion dollars into American universities since 2011,” said Congressman Jim Banks. “President Trump was the first president in my lifetime to get serious about tackling China’s influence on our education system, but President Biden has reopened our schools to illicit Communist Party soft power. I’d like to thank Senator Vance for joining me to introduce this important bill in the Senate and for fighting back against President Biden’s efforts to appease Communist China.”
“Foreign adversaries like China shouldn’t be able to target and influence American universities,” said Senator Josh Hawley. “Requiring universities to disclose gifts or contracts with our adversaries is common sense. And so is requiring the Biden Administration to actually enforce it.”
“Whether it’s buying up farmland, data mining through TikTok and Huawei, or sending a spy balloon across our mainland, it is no secret that the Chinese Communist Party is willing to use any means necessary to influence and undermine our nation,” said Senator Ted Budd. “America’s educational institutions are no exception, and that is why I am glad to join Senator Vance in this important effort to implement stricter safeguards that will help protect our students from any attempt by the CCP to exert influence over our colleges and universities.”
“The Chinese Communist Party wants to brainwash our kids and destroy our country – not on my watch,” said Senator Tuberville. “The CCP has made it clear their plan of action is to infiltrate our education system and indoctrinate our kids. It is astounding that we have allowed universities to get away with taking money from a country that hates us. I was glad to see Troy University in Alabama close its CCP-backed Confucius Institute, and hope other universities will follow their lead. Transparency about how China is funding our schools is not only vital to our national security — our kids’ futures depend on it.”
- As it is currently written, Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 requires universities to semiannually disclose to the U.S. Department of Education any gifts received from and contracts with a foreign source valued at $250,000 or more.
- Universities continue to flout such requirements. In May, for example, UC Berkeley was exposed for failing to disclose $220 million in Chinese state funding for a joint tech venture.
- The Biden Department of Education refuses to enforce the Section 117 requirements and hold universities accountable.