the Biden administration withdrew a proposed Trump administration rule that would’ve
required universities and K-12 schools to identify their connections with
asked the Biden administration about that move but it’s failed to respond
I’d like to discuss four areas where the Biden administration must be tough
with China as well as other foreign countries.
April 2015, I’ve conducted oversight on several key aspects of foreign efforts
to influence members of Congress and the American public.
I’ve focused on the equal, fair and aggressive enforcement of transparency laws
like the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
I first raised concerns about the Foreign Agents Registration Act in April
In 1938, Congress passed that law to
expose Nazi propaganda and identify foreign attempts to influence policymakers
and the American public. Last updated in 1966, the Foreign Agents Registration
Act requires those who lobby on behalf of foreign governments and interests to
register their affiliations and activities with the Justice Department.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act reflects the fundamental principle
that transparency brings accountability. Until recently, however, that law had
been seldom used.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act ought to be better enforced, and
equally enforced. That’s why I worked to expose holes in the existing law and
find ways to shore it up.
As a result of those efforts, last
session I introduced the bipartisan Foreign Agents Disclosure and
Registration Enhancement Act. I’ll be reintroducing it this session.
The bill requires the Justice
Department – for the first time – to craft a comprehensive enforcement
strategy, and to release advisory opinions to promote transparency. It gives investigators
new tools – including civil investigative demand authority – to help identify
Last Congress, the bill had
support from Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Feinstein of the Judiciary
Committee and Chairman Rubio and Vice Chairman Warner of the Intelligence
It also had bipartisan support on
the Foreign Relations Committee, including from Senators Shaheen, Rubio, Murphy
and Young – who’ve all worked to shine a light on foreign influence.
We also had the sign-off from the
Chairman of that Committee, along with support from the Trump administration.
Unfortunately, when Senator Cornyn
and I joined on the floor to ask for Unanimous Consent for passage, the
Democrats objected even though it had bipartisan, multi-committee support.
strongly urge the Biden administration to join my efforts in making
common-sense, bipartisan reforms to the Foreign
Agents Registration Act and to make it a priority. My bill gets the job
I’ve focused my oversight on increasing non-traditional espionage activities
and foreign threats targeting taxpayer-funded research.
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2018, I convened a hearing regarding
China’s non-traditional espionage against the United States.
that hearing, DOJ and FBI officials made clear that the threat to our
universities and taxpayer-funded research from foreign governments, especially
China, is real and ongoing.
example, the DOJ witness stated, “we need to adapt our enforcement strategy to
reach non-traditional collectors, including researchers in labs, universities,
and the defense industrial base, some of whom may have undisclosed ties to
Chinese institutions and conflicted loyalties.”
FBI witness stated that China’s talent recruitment programs are effectively
“brain gain programs” that “encourage theft of intellectual property from U.S.
June 2019, as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, I held a hearing on foreign
threats to taxpayer-funded research which focused heavily on China’s theft and
espionage within our research community.
the hearing, I organized a classified committee briefing on the topic from the
Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health,
Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General and the Department of
Trump administration ramped up government efforts to investigate and prosecute
researchers for stealing intellectual property and research.
Biden administration must continue those aggressive efforts if they want to be
efforts are more important now than ever. For example, during the COVID
pandemic, China has used cyber-attacks to try and steal COVID-related research.
I’ve focused on propaganda efforts within our schools and universities.
that includes China’s Confucius Institutes.
an extension of the Chinese government, the Confucius Institutes are a foreign
principal for purposes of the Foreign
Agents Registration Act.
to reporting, the strategic goal of the Chinese government is to place its
Institutes within existing colleges and universities in order to influence
perceptions of the communist Chinese government under the guise of teaching
Chinese language, culture and history.
light of these factors, in October 2018, I wrote to the Justice Department and
asked why it had yet to require individuals working for Confucius Institutes to
register as foreign agents under the Foreign
Agents Registration Act.
in March 2020, I wrote to dozens of schools and asked that they get a briefing
from the FBI on the threats Confucius Institutes bring to the academic
also strongly backed Senator Kennedy’s CONFUCIUS
Act, which passed the Senate last week.
part, that bill mandates that if a school wants an Institute on campus, it must
have full managerial and academic control, not the Chinese government.
threats to our security are real, known, and show no signs of stopping.
a very good sign that in the past couple years many universities and colleges
have cut ties with Confucius Institutes.
Biden administration must use every tool at its disposal to protect and defend our
national security from this communist threat.
is why I wrote to the Biden Department of Homeland Security on February 11,
2021, regarding its withdrawal of the Confucius Rule.
the questions I asked of the Department, two relate to whether or not the Biden
administration considers the Confucius Institutes to be an extension of the
communist Chinese government and to be purveyors of communist Chinese
Department has thus far failed to respond.
Biden administration would be wise to answer both in the affirmative to clearly
state to the country and the world where it stands regarding China’s propaganda
I want to highlight a very important issue that’s recently been brought to my
entering office, President Biden fired all U.S. Executive Directors at
multilateral development banks who were currently serving out their terms. Some
include the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development
Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
been U.S. tradition to allow these non-partisan U.S. Executive Directors to
serve in their positions until their term is up, regardless of whatever
administration put them in those positions.
tradition ensures that the U.S. maintains a consistent, authoritative presence
and engagement within these multilateral institutions.
the last administration, the U.S. was tough on China through these development
Executive Directors that were in their respective positions made it a point to defend
U.S. strategic interests by building coalitions aimed at eroding Chinese
influence, which had been allowed to grow at an alarming extent.
U.S. leaders from their positions prior to their terms expiring, and with no
replacements even nominated, isn’t an example of the U.S. leading.
is an example of the U.S. ceding its duties and responsibilities on the world
addition to my unanswered letters, the Biden administration should inform
Congress as to why it removed all Executive Directors from their positions
prior to their terms expiring.
is aggressively growing its influence in multilateral organizations. Now isn’t
the time to abandon the field. This is no time to be weak with China.
must work tirelessly to protect our way of life and our national security from
the ever-present threat from the communist Chinese government.
we must build on the foundation that the Trump administration created to
protect the American taxpayer from foreign theft, espionage and propaganda.