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Rubio, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect U.S. Schools From China’s Influence

Dec 8, 2023 | Comunicados de Prensa

Foreign adversaries, including China, have significantly increased covert tactics to infiltrate American colleges and K-12 schools. They do this to steal research, spread propaganda, and silence students and academics. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues introduced the Protecting Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act to address and prevent foreign adversaries’ influence in the U.S. education system.

  • “The integrity of our schools is one of the most basic guarantees that we should give to our students. Current federal policies to protect our students from adversaries are incomplete and disappointing. The U.S. is being infiltrated through its educational institutions. This bill aims to close those gaps, securing a robust defense against malign foreign influence in our classrooms.” – senador Rubio 

Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Tim Scott (R-SC) are original cosponsors.

  • “It’s a universally accepted truth that Communist China is stealing U.S. technology and intellectual property from institutions of higher learning. We cannot allow the U.S. federal government to sit back and let this dangerous espionage happen. Now is the time to take a stand against this madness, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in fighting to pass the Protecting Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act to better protect America’s colleges and universities.” – Senator Rick Scott 
  • “China and other foreign adversaries are infiltrating every level of our education system. We cannot allow American students – the future of our great nation – to be corrupted by bad actors who are pushing anti-American propaganda and sowing chaos and distrust around the world.” Senator Tim Scott

This legislation is endorsed by the National Association of Scholars and Parents Defending Education Action. 

  • “The National Association of Scholars strongly endorses the Protecting Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act and thanks Senator Rubio and his staff for their hard work to safeguard American higher education from our foreign advisories. Protecting Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act ensures that colleges and universities remain a public good for the people of the United States. The Act builds on the momentum of previous work to ensure transparency and adds a layer of repercussion for colleges and universities subordinating American education to the mission of foreign advisories. Protecting Education from Malign Foreign Influence Act ends the all-you-can-steal buffet American colleges and universities provide the People’s Liberation Army and reverses the ability of foreign nations to reach our young men and women through deep pockets.” – National Association of Scholars
  • “Neither China nor any other known adversary of the United States should have access to our country’s classrooms. Unfortunately, a report published earlier this year by our partner organization, Parents Defending Education, showed how over the course of the past several years millions of dollars of China-linked funding has flowed into America’s schools. This is not just compromising our country’s national security, but it is jeopardizing the security of thousands of students. The bill introduced by Senator Rubio takes a comprehensive and strategic look at the problem set. If signed into law, this bill will protect students from being exposed to influence from America’s known enemies. PDE Action is proud to support this legislation and looks forward to working with the Senator and every Member of Congress who wants to address foreign influence in schools.” – Director of Federal Affairs for Parents Defending Education Action, Michele Exner

Flashback… Rubio has consistently fought to counter foreign influence in America’s education system, including with amendments filed to the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

A summary of the legislation can be found here.