PHILADELPHIA — October 17, 2023 – Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA), a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R—NC) introduced the "Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions Act," or the "DETERRENT Act," which significantly increases the amount of transparency required for any university that receives foreign funds, creates specific, enforceable penalties if they fail to do so as required by law, and includes numerous provisions that the Middle East Forum has strongly advocated.
"It has long been true that foreign influence in American Universities was given far too little scrutiny and required to disclose far too little about funding they get from 'frenemy' countries such as Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, and even enemy countries, including Iran and China," said Cliff Smith, Washington Project director at the Middle East Forum. "This problem was shown to be far more serious under former Education Secretary DeVos, who showed that even the minimum transparency that was required was ignored, rarely enforced, and generally not taken seriously. This bill would solve those problems."
"The most important thing is that watchdog groups like the Middle East Forum's Campus Watch project can scrutinize exactly how foreign funding is used, what conditions are placed on it, who controls it, and so on," said Winfield Myers, director of Campus Watch. "This bill would accomplish that and would also force universities to follow the law. It's a huge step forward."
The Middle East Forum will continue to brief lawmakers and other leaders around Washington, DC, about this issue, encourages the House to act quickly on this important legislation, and asks the Senate and president to support it as well.
The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based think tank, is dedicated to defining American interests in the Middle East and protecting America from Islamist threats. It achieves its goals through intellectual, activist, and philanthropic efforts.
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