Senate GOP Unveils New Plan To Shut Down Influence Operations In Colleges

( In an effort to prevent “foreign influence operations” within US colleges and universities, this week Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced legislation targeting gifts and donations that come from foreign adversaries like China.

The “Greater Insight into Foreign Transactions (GIFT) in Higher Education Act” seeks to increase transparency while making US colleges and universities more accountable for reporting such gifts or donations.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Senator Rubio explained that hostile foreign nations, including China, seek to infiltrate American colleges and universities in order to steal research and intellectual property. This bill would expand gift and donation disclosure requirements under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act to also include individual faculty, professional staff, as well as all staff engaged in research and development.

Additionally, the GIFT Act would also make the receipt of federal funding contingent on compliance with the expanded disclosure requirements.

In 2020 the Department of Education released the findings of a probe it conducted into institutional compliance with reporting laws and found that many US colleges and universities are “aggressively” and “systematically” pursuing and accepting foreign gifts while failing to comply with reporting and transparency laws.

Last year, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that American colleges were “hooked on Chinese Communist Party cash” while the CCP was siphoning cutting-edge US research to China.

The GIFT Act also codifies “designated foreign adversary sources” and establishes a list of “designated foreign adversary governments” that currently includes China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, and Syria.

Senator Rubio argues that there is no reason that bad actors such as these should be permitted to run foreign influence operations seeking to undermine America. What is needed, Rubio explains, is to bring “greater transparency to donations” made by foreign adversaries, and accountability and transparency on the part of American colleges and universities.

Senator Cramer said in a statement that if a college or university accepts foreign money or gifts, “their students, donors, and taxpayers deserve to know.”

Rubio and Cramer released a Fact Sheet on the GIFT Act. Read it HERE.