Owens Combats Dangerous Foreign Influences in American Schools 

WASHINGTON – Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) introduced the Reporting on Investments in Foreign Adversaries (RIFA) Act, legislation to hold private universities accountable for their financial partnerships with foreign countries and entities hostile to the United States. 

“China and other foreign adversaries are determined to undermine America’s national interests and infect our political discourse,” said Rep. Owens. “There is a disturbing lack of accountability for private institutions with endowments funded by foreign countries aiming to maliciously influence America’s universities and higher education or undermine our national security. My bill, the latest step to counter foreign influence in U.S. higher education, will hold these universities accountable and root out malign foreign influence in U.S. higher education.”

“It is well past time for American universities to evaluate their financial ties to malicious foreign actors with a critical eye,” said Dr. Foxx. “The American people deserve to know if our wealthiest private institutions are benefitting from companies and countries of concern. Congressman Owens’ RIFA Act holds our institutions to a higher standard by requiring them to be more transparent about their investments and financial partnerships.”

Background: 

The Reporting on Investments in Foreign Adversaries (RIFA) Act requires private universities with endowments above $6 billion or with more than $250 million in investments of concern to report on: 

  • A list of investments of concern purchased, sold, or held during the calendar year
  • The aggregate fair market value of all investments of concern held as of the close of the calendar year
  • The combined value of all investments of concern sold over the calendar year, as measured by the fair market value of such investments at the time of the sale
  • The combined value of all capital gains from sales of investments of concern

Failure to comply with the reporting requirements will result in fines corresponding to the value of investments held and sold by the institution. 

The full text of the legislation is available here

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