Cotton, Hagerty, Blackburn, Scott Introduce Bill to Protect American Universities from Foreign Influence
Washington, D.C. — Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) introduced the Foreign Funding Accountability Act, legislation to combat malign foreign influence in American colleges and universities by strengthening Section 117 of the Higher Education Act. Bill text may be found here.
Specifically, the bill would:
“The Chinese Communist Party has made consistent attempts to infiltrate American colleges and universities. Our bill will close donation loopholes, barring the CCP and other foreign agents from donating millions, or even billions, to levy influence and steal American intellectual property,” said Cotton.
“As a strategic adversary seeking to overtake the United States, the Chinese Communist Party is going to extraordinary lengths to exert malign influence over America’s free and open society, including our higher education system. By increasing transparency, closing loopholes, and imposing new civil penalties in U.S. law, this important legislation seeks to prevent the CCP and its intermediaries from hiding in the shadows to buy control and influence within our higher education, to manipulate what American students are taught about China, and to steal intellectual property from our nation’s researchers,” said Hagerty.
“Communist China has infiltrated American colleges and universities. It is imperative we cut off Beijing’s access to funnel money in exchange for influence in higher education. Our children’s education should not be available for purchase by the CCP,” said Blackburn.
“Attempts by the Chinese Communist Party and other bad actors to infiltrate the American education system is a blatant example of foreign competitors trying to maintain and expand their global power to our detriment,” said Scott. “By holding institutions of higher education accountable for foreign donations we are taking necessary steps to promote transparency, protect our intellectual property, and ensure our country’s future leaders get a quality education.”