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Committee Chairs Lead Congress-Wide Effort to Curb Antisemitism on College Campuses

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO), Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Science, Space, & Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) sent letters to the leaders of BarnardColumbiaUC BerkeleyUCLAHarvardMITNorthwesternPennRutgers, and Cornell as part of the Congress-wide investigation into the rise of antisemitism on college campuses.
In the letters, the Chairs write: “Failing to act decisively to ensure a safe learning environment for all students would be a grave dereliction of your responsibilities. ... This Congress will not stand idly by and allow an environment hostile to Jewish students to persist.”
The Chairs continue: “Postsecondary education is a unique opportunity for students to learn and have their ideas and beliefs challenged. However, universities receiving hundreds of millions of federal funds annually have denied students that opportunity and have been hijacked to become venues for the promotion of terrorism, antisemitic harassment and intimidation, unlawful encampments, and in some cases, assaults and riots. … The House of Representatives will not countenance the use of federal funds to indoctrinate students into hateful, antisemitic, anti-American supporters of terrorism.”
The Chairs conclude by vowing oversight into the use of federal funds at the universities and their learning environments under authorities granted to each Committee:
  • The Committee on Education and the Workforce has broad jurisdiction over postsecondary education, including its compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, campus safety concerns over disruptions to the learning environment, and the awarding of federal student aid under the Higher Education Act.
  • The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating the sources of funding and other support flowing to groups espousing pro-Hamas propaganda and engaged in antisemitic harassment and intimidation of students. 
  • The Committee on Ways and Means has broad jurisdiction over the Internal Revenue Code, which includes the generous tax-exemption most universities receive under Section 501 of the Code, the university endowment tax under Section 4968, and the excise tax on executive compensation for tax-exempt organizations under Section 4960.
  • The House Judiciary Committee has broad jurisdiction over “civil liberties,” “criminal law enforcement,” and federal immigration law. 
  • The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating concerns over the extent to which the Department of Health and Human Services and its grant awarding agencies—such as the National Institutes of Health—are ensuring that universities receiving federal funds are fostering and maintaining an environment free from harassment and discrimination.  
  • The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has broad jurisdiction over non-military research and development. This jurisdiction includes science-based scholarships and grants to universities from multiple federal departments and agencies. 
Read the letter to Barnard here
Read the letter to Columbia here
Read the letter to UC Berkeley here
Read the letter to UCLA here
Read the letter to Harvard here
Read the letter to MIT here
Read the letter to Northwestern here
Read the letter to Penn here
Read the letter to Rutgers here
Read the letter to Cornell here

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