Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) are calling for increased transparency for the foreign funding in higher education. The Foreign Funding Accountability Act will target Section 117 of the Higher Education Act. That law requires universities to submit biannual reports on all foreign gifts and contract transactions. The Department of Education reported last October that many colleges and universities fail to comply with Section 117.
The two Tennessee senators introduced the Foreign Funding Accountability Act alongside Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Tim Scott (R-SC). China was identified as the main foreign actor that spurred the legislation. The bill would require the full names of all levels of foreign donating entities and the purpose(s) for those gift-transactions, close the loopholes allowing gifting by registered foreign agents and exempting in-kind gifts from counting towards the disclosure minimum, lower the minimum reporting threshold for disclosure in terms of dollar amount to $25,000, and levy a graduated civil penalty structure against higher education institutions that willfully and repeatedly violate Section 117.
Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) called for security changes — recommended by a January 6th report — to be implemented in order to prevent a situation similar to that day.
“The committees have laid out what happened and what should be reformed or reconsidered. It is now time to implement appropriate changes to make sure all relevant agencies are prepared to prevent an event like January 6 from happening again,” Senator Hagerty said in a statement.
Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the illegal minor immigrants flying into Chattanooga by way of commercial air and being resettled in the community unbeknownst to locals.
Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) joined Congressman Chuck Fleischmann in introducing the Migrant Resettlement Transparency Act.
If enacted, the legislation would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to consult with state and local officials regarding federally sanctioned migrant resettlement before the migrants are relocated to the specific area.
Since reports of migrant children landing in Chattanooga emerged over the week, Tennessee’s legislators are urging the Biden Administration to cease importing migrants. In a press release, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced that Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03) joined her in a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary (USDHS) Alejandro Mayorkas.
It is apparent from the letter that Tennessee’s leaders at both the federal and state levels have been left in the dark on the Biden Administration’s orders concerning migrants. The legislators asked Becerra and Mayorkas to answer whether the federal government is using Tennessee as a central location for resettling unaccompanied alien children.