Republican lawmakers are increasingly calling for greater financial punishment for Harvard University as the college continues doing little to rein in anti-Semitism on campus in the wake of the October 7th attacks against Israel.
As reported by the New York Post, Harvard still receives hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in federal payments, as well as generous tax breaks. But in the wake of controversial congressional testimony by university president Claudine Gay, Republicans on Capitol Hill are calling for the university to lose its funding.
House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) called for efforts to “defund the rot in America’s higher education.”
“It is unacceptable and un-American that any taxpayer dollars are going to universities propping up their promulgation of antisemitism by supporting professors, students and staff many who have openly called for the genocide of Jews,” Stefanik continued in her statement. “We will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that schools that protect and encourage antisemitism are cut off from any and all federal funds.”
Congressman Eli Crane (R-Ariz.) is introducing a bill that will financially punish Harvard and other universities if they are found to have protected anti-Semitic actions on campus, where numerous protests and riots by far-left student groups have seen Jewish students targeted for their race.
“The American higher ed system is a racket, forcing taxpayers to first subsidize schools before roping them into paying student loans they didn’t choose to take on,” said Crane said in a statement on Wednesday ahead of the planned introduction of his bill, H.R. 6220. “The schools make out like bandits, indoctrinating our youth with hate and delusion, all while taxpayers fund the whole thing. My bill starts to combat this scheme.”
Gay’s testimony, alongside the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and MIT, saw the Harvard president controversially refuse to answer when Stefanik drew a comparison between anti-Semitic chants and calls for the eradication of black Americans, with Gay even seen smirking during the line of questioning. Following the widely-panned performances of all three presidents, UPenn’s Liz Magill announced her resignation, while Gay has retained her position.
In 2023, Harvard received a record total of $676 million in direct payments from the federal government, with another $25 million in COVID relief funds. Harvard admitted in its annual fiscal year report that 64% of its funding for research comes from the federal government, with the biggest donor being the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Department of Education has since launched an investigation into Harvard, along with other elite universities, to determine whether or not the school violated the civil rights of Jewish students under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.