Should Congress require public disclosure from universities of foreign funding or gifts?

This bill has Passed the House of Representatives
Bill Summary

The DETERRENT Act seeks to reduce the influence of foreign nations within American Universities. The primary effect of the law is a requirement that all foreign donations above $50,000, and any donations from “countries and entities of concern” be publicly disclosed. In addition, the bill clarifies existing laws and gives the federal government additional authority to regulate foreign expenditures at universities. Sponsor: Rep. Michelle Steel (Republican, California, District 45)
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Opponents say

•      "We can all agree that institutions must be transparent about the resources they receive from foreign entities. Unfortunately, after weeks of Republican-led dysfunction that immobilized the House, we are taking up a bill that fails to meaningfully address research security at our higher education institutions. This bill will hinder institutions from continuing to conduct critical research that has a global impact as well as limit their ability to function as the social, economic, and innovative hubs for which they are known. We can—and must—take targeted, evidence-based steps to protect our research and development initiatives without jeopardizing the global partnerships that benefit us all." Source: Rep. Bobby Scott (Democrat, Virginia, District 3), Ranking Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee

•      "H.R. 5933 is an attempt to overcorrect problems that are currently being addressed across the federal government. Institutions of higher education have shown their efforts to comply with all federal foreign influence laws and regulations, including Section 117 of the Higher Education Act, and the Department of Education has indicated its commitment to help institutions remain in compliance. While Committee Republicans argue this legislation will deter nefarious actions, H.R. 5933 merely deters institutions from making great strides on innovative research that impacts the global community and American competitiveness. For the reasons stated above, we urge the House of Representatives to oppose H.R. 5933." Source: Democratic members of the House Education and Workforce Committee in a joint report

Proponents say

•      "Postsecondary education in America has been compromised. Malignant foreign entities, like the Chinese Communist Party, have taken root at colleges and universities by simply flashing their checkbooks and opening the floodgates to an endless stream of cash – every dollar comes with strings attached. The DETERRENT Act is our prescription to unleash accountability, transparency, and much-needed clarity into a system that has allowed foreign actors to entice well-meaning institutions and boldly partner with other shameless institutions to work against the interests of the American people. By erecting this bulwark, we are bringing bad actors directly into blinding sunlight while holding colleges and universities accountable. Covert attempts to influence postsecondary education in America will no longer be obscured by the shadows." Source: Rep. Michelle Steel (Republican, California, District 45)

•      "The [National Association of Scholars] welcomes these well-needed changes to Section 117 that offer further clarity on terms and enforcement. The DETERRENT Act will enable both the public and the government to mitigate the malign influence of foreign adversaries through the power of information. It will have a chilling effect on universities’ partnerships with bad actors. We hope that lawmakers will fix the remaining oversights in the bill using our suggestions to make sure that all loopholes are closed. Universities have skirted foreign disclosure laws for years, and it is time to hold them accountable." Source: The National Association of Scholars