Sen. Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) legislation to restrict universities with endowments larger than $10 billion from coronavirus aid has garnered strong support in both chambers of Congress.
Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) cosponsored Hawley’s legislation on Friday.
Hawley’s legislation would block universities with large endowments from receiving Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds from the CARES Act unless they first spend some of their own money on coronavirus-related financial assistance for students.
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Ben Cline (R-VA) will sponsor the companion legislation in the House.
Last week Hawley said he would introduce legislation to bar universities with large endowments with “massive” endowments from federal aid. The proposal gained quick support when Jordan said he would sponsor the bill in the House.
Hawley’s proposal followed as Harvard University, which has an endowment of $40 billion, received federal bailout funds.
Hawley said in a statement on Friday:
Universities with massive endowments should not be getting taxpayer money unless they spend some money out of their own pockets to actually help their students. This is common sense. Relief funds were intended for schools that need it, not wealthy universities that sit on huge endowments. It’s greed, plain and simple, and it’s wrong.
“Federal funds to help America through this unpreceded healthcare and economic crisis should be reserved for those who truly need it, and should not go to well-endowed universities,” Blackburn said.
The wealthiest colleges and universities in the U.S., which are sitting on tens of billions of dollars in endowments, but extending a hand to federal taxpayers for relief funding need a reality check. The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic plaguing our nation has impacted millions of Americans — including students — who desperately need help to weather this storm. When there is a finite amount of money available for students, Congress should ensure aid is going to those who need it most, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort to do exactly that.
On the House side, Jordan said:
This bill shouldn’t be controversial or partisan. If universities have large endowments, they should spend some of that endowment on their students first, before seeking a federal bailout. This legislation ensures that large universities are held accountable to taxpayers in the future, while at the same time directing funds to those actually in need. I’m proud to stand behind this important legislation with Senator Hawley and Congressman Cline.
Colleges and universities with multibillion-dollar endowments should not be requesting funds from the CARES Act. Money allocated through this legislation should be reserved for businesses and institutions in need, not entities that have virtually unlimited resources through their foundations and endowments.
“This bill ensures that our Nation’s wealthiest schools can no longer take advantage of coronavirus relief funding at the expense of the American taxpayer,” Cline added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.