Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) and six cosponsors introduced legislation this week that would require colleges and universities to disclose all foreign gifts and contracts. The bill takes aim at universities not reporting gifts from countries like China due to the structure of current reporting requirements.
The legislation, H.R.3136, would “require American universities to report any and all monetary contracts or gifts from foreign countries and entities, require universities to publicly disclose the names of all foreign donors,” and “require universities to list gift reasons, any gift conditions, and the department, college, or project the money is intended for,” according to a press release.
Currently, U.S. colleges and universities are only required to report foreign gifts that are over $250,000 each year, per Section 117 of the Higher Education Act. Brooks’ Zero Foreign Influence in Education Act would amend Section 117.
The press release also mentions that Section 117 had “historically gone unenforced until the Trump Administration started forcing schools to report,” and that “universities have ignored the law and raked in billions in foreign funds.”
“In a 2020 report, the U.S. Department of Education found that universities had failed to report at least $6.5 billion in foreign money,” the statement adds. Breitbart News previously reported on the billions that weren’t reported.
“Universities already have to keep track of where their dollars come from and what gets spent where,” the press release continued. “Shedding light on which foreign countries influence American education via large cash donations is a basic transparency requirement not only for students and faculty but for general oversight and national security.”
“Many of these large donors are America’s geopolitical foes, China being the primary offender,” the news release added.
The statement goes on to point out that “foreign enterprises more adversarial to the United States know about the $250,000 threshold currently required in statute so they space out their checks or keep them under the $250k bar so the schools do not have to report.”
“If universities, which are heavily subsidized by the American taxpayer, are going to take foreign money, they should have to show all of it,” Brooks affirmed in his press release.
Co-sponsors of the legislation include Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL), Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX), Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL), Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN).