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Williams, Foxx Introduce Bill to Tackle Plague of Illiberalism on College Campuses

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Brandon Williams (R-NY) and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced H.R. 7683, the Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act. The legislation ensures that colleges and universities are fulfilling their First Amendment obligations by making free speech on campus a condition of receiving Title IV funding under the Higher Education Act (HEA).
The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act constitutes one piece of a series of bills aimed at reforming the HEA. Other bills in the series include: the DETERRENT Act, which reins in foreign influence in postsecondary education, and the College Cost Reduction Act, which lowers the cost of college for students and families.
“The state of postsecondary education is in complete disarray. We’ve seen countless examples of institutions leveraging taxpayers’ dollars to fan the flames of illiberalism, intolerance, and radical ideology amongst students and faculty. Americans’ confidence in postsecondary education is at an all-time low, and rightly so. While there are several factors contributing to this national sentiment, one of the most important is institutions’ inconsistency in protecting the First Amendment rights of students and faculty,” said Williams and Foxx. “The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act addresses this problem by holding institutions accountable, enacting additional enforcement mechanisms, and requiring that campus policies are concrete and transparent. The First Amendment is non-negotiable. Every student, faculty member, and invited guest has the right to speak freely in a civil campus environment without fear of reprisal.”


The Respecting the First Amendment on Campus Act:

  • Makes free speech on campus a condition of receiving Title IV funds under the HEA;
  • Ensures students are educated on their First Amendment rights;
  • Safeguards the freedoms of association and religion on campus;
  • Prohibits institutions from forcing students, faculty, or applicants to take political litmus tests; and
  • Requires all institutions to disclose annually First Amendment policies held by the institution.

Click here for a fact sheet.
Click here for bill text.
Click here for a bill summary.

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