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House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Deter Foreign Adversaries’ Influence in American Education

WASHINGTON–Today, the House passed H.R. 5933, the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions (DETERRENT) Act, bipartisan legislation that brings much-needed transparency, accountability, and clarity to foreign gift reporting requirements for colleges and universities across the nation. This is the first in a series of bills to reform the Higher Education Act.

Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) made the following statement on the House Floor ahead of the bill’s passage:

“As we all know, public confidence in American universities is in a freefall. According to Gallup, it’s dropped almost three percentage points a year on average across the last eight years. The crisis of confidence is multi-faceted­, parts tuition cost, sinking return on investment, and soaring debt. To each of the issues plaguing modern universities, the answer is restoring the principles of transparency and accountability. Yes, passing this legislation would send a strong message to our foreign adversaries, but more importantly it would send a strong message to our constituents—we are good stewards of your votes. While I know we cannot restore public trust in the university system overnight, requiring a basic level of transparency in foreign donations and accountability from universities is a great first step.”

“As our college campuses are subjected to the rampant spread of antisemitism and the continued presence of CCP influence campaigns, it is critical that we expose the forces attempting to influence our children,”said Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA).“When foreign governments give money to our universities, they don’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts; they want something in return. Whether it’s terror friendly states like Qatar and Iran, or brutal human rights abusers like the CCP, our campuses must not become puppets of countries who hate America. I’m proud to have introduced the DETERRENT Act with Chairwoman Foxx, and I thank all my colleagues who supported this legislation today.”

  • Slashes the foreign gift reporting threshold for colleges and universities from $250,000 down to $50,000, with an even stricter $0 threshold for countries of concern.
  • Closes reporting loopholes and provides transparency to Congress, intelligence agencies, and the public.
  • Requires disclosure of foreign gifts to individual staff and faculty at research-heavy institutions to protect those targeted the most by our adversaries.
  • Holds our largest private institutions accountable for their financial partnerships by revealing concerning foreign investments in their endowments.
  • Implements a series of repercussions for colleges and universities that remain noncompliant in foreign gift reporting such as fines and the loss of Title IV funding.
Click here for a fact sheet.
Click here for a bill text.
Click here for a bill summary.

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