Sunday, September 19, 2021

GOP senators introduce bill to crack down on ‘foreign influence operations’ in US colleges

Sans Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Kevin Cramer (RN.D.) targeted gifts and donations to American colleges and universities coming from foreign adversaries like China on Tuesday to blunt the influence of “alien” introduced the law. affect operations.”

The Bill called Greater Insight in Foreign Transactions (GIFTs) in the Higher Education Act (PDF), wants greater transparency in higher education gifts and donations, while making US colleges and universities more accountable for reporting such transactions.

“Hostile foreign adversaries, including the Chinese Communist Party, regularly seek to infiltrate our higher education institutions to steal our research and exploit our intellectual property,” Rubio said in a statement.

Rubio and Cramer’s bill expands the gift and donation disclosure requirements under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act (HEA) to include faculty, professional staff, and all employees engaged in research and development. All federal funding for colleges and universities will be subject to compliance with expanded disclosure requirements, under the bill.

The Department of Education released the findings of an investigation last year (PDF) in institutional compliance with reporting laws. It found that many universities and colleges “aggressively” and “systematically” pursue and accept foreign gifts, failing to comply with reporting and transparency laws.

The report said universities have long been noticing that substantial amounts of foreign funding are coming into the United States from hostile sources, seeking to “project soft power, steal sensitive and proprietary research, and spread propaganda”. are doing.

Last year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that US colleges were “getting addicted to Chinese Communist Party money” while Beijing works to siphon cutting-edge US research to China.

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Pompeo said at the time, “We cannot allow this tyrannical regime to steal our stuff to build our military might, to brainwash our people, or to buy our institutions to help cover these activities.” “

Rubio and Cramer’s bill also codifies “designated anti-foreign sources” and establishes a list of “designated anti-foreign governments”, which includes China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Venezuela. Huh.

“There’s no reason why bad actors should be able to run these foreign influence operations that seek to undermine America,” Rubio said. “We need to bring more transparency to donations from foreign adversaries and make our institutions and education department more accountable for reporting these transactions in a timely manner.”

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Rubio and Cramer said in a fact sheet (PDF) With the release of the draft bill, the Education Department worked under the Trump administration to enforce Section 117 and called for more aggressive action in this area by the Biden administration.

His bill would require the Department of Education to publish the disclosure within 30 days of the submission deadline, while disclosing gifts and contracts valued at $50,000 or more from designated foreign adversarial sources within 30 days of the transaction dates. May need it.

“If a university accepts foreign funding or gifts, their students, donors and taxpayers should be aware,” Cramer said in a statement. “Our bill will improve oversight of foreign funding in higher education by holding universities accountable to ensure that their reporting is complete, accurate and transparent.”

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News Originally From – The Epoch Times

GOP senators introduce bill to crack down on 'foreign influence operations' in US colleges
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