House Democrats blocked a budget amendment late on Tuesday night that would have banned stimulus funds from going to entities that are owned or controlled by communist China.
The amendment to ban money from President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package from going to entities tied to communist China was introduced by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and blocked by Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee.
“This amendment would have prohibited academic institutions from funding if they have a partnership with any entity owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the government of the People’s Republic of China or organized under the laws of the Chinese Communist Party,” Stefanik said.
Stefanik’s amendment came after Democrat Joe Biden reportedly canceled a plan put in place by the Trump administration that would have tracked the rising influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the U.S. education system.
“Around 500 K-12 schools and 65 colleges in the U.S. have partnerships with the Confucius Institute U.S. Center, a U.S.-based affiliate of the Beijing-based Confucius Institute Headquarters. The institute, also known as Hanban, is affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education,” the Daily Caller News Foundation reported. “Many of Hanban’s directors are members of the Chinese Communist Party or have close ties to the organization.”
“We must prevent American taxpayer dollars from going to institutions that have partnerships with any entity owned, controlled, or organized under the laws of the Chinese Communist Party, which we know is censoring free speech, engaging in genocide in Xinjiang Province, and influencing American academia before our eyes,” Stefanik said in a statement.
WATCH:@RepStefanik offers an amendment to ensure that the Democrats' massive bill does not fund academic institutions engaged in partnerships with entities affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party. pic.twitter.com/1QGKjXezGm
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) February 10, 2021
“The former administration was concerned about China’s influence in the U.S. school system because the Chinese government funds the institutes and provides Chinese teachers to instruct on a variety of subjects, ranging from language to cultural events,” Fox News reported. “A U.S. government report found that the Chinese government provided more than $158 million in funding to U.S. schools for Confucius Institutes since 2006. However, the report also noted that a number of schools failed to properly report the funding they received.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—a former CIA director who graduated #1 in his class at West Point Military Academy—warned last year that communist China “has taken advantage of America’s openness to undertake large scale and well-funded propaganda efforts and influence operations in this country.”
Pompeo made the remarks in a statement where he announced that the U.S. was designating Confucius Institutes a foreign mission of communist China.
“Today, the Department of State designated the Confucius Institute U.S. Center as a foreign mission of the PRC, recognizing CIUS for what it is: an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms,” Pompeo said. “Confucius Institutes are funded by the PRC and part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”
“The goal of these actions is simple: to ensure that American educators and school administrators can make informed choices about whether these CCP-backed programs should be allowed to continue, and if so, in what fashion,” he added. “Universities around the country and around the world are examining the Confucius Institutes’ curriculum and the scope of Beijing’s influence in their education systems. The United States wants to ensure that students on U.S. campuses have access to Chinese language and cultural offerings free from the manipulation of the Chinese Communist Party and its proxies.”
This article has been revised for clarity and updated to include additional information.