Nadler Statement in Opposition to Misguided Amendment Designed to Harm Universities Under the Guise of Combating Antisemitism
Washington, November 15, 2023
Tags: Foreign Affairs/Israel
Today, I voted against Representative Lawler's Amendment 114 to H.R.5894, the FY24 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Act, which threatens to prohibit funding going to any higher education institution that supports an event where antisemitism allegedly takes place.
To be clear, I am deeply concerned about rising incidents of antisemitism in our nation’s institutions of higher education, an issue I have worked on for my entire career in public service. Since the war started, I have voted to condemn the support of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations on college campuses. Last week, at a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, I reminded my Republican colleagues that not a single one of us could afford to be silent on the dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents across our country—even when the antisemitic comments come directly from the leadership of their party. I continue to urge the Republican majority to move past mere lip service and instead make meaningful contributions to the fight. We should provide robust funding for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights—which is cut by 25% in the House Republican’s LHHS bill—and implement the Biden Administration’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism without delay.
Unfortunately, the Lawler amendment represents yet another meaningless gesture from House Republicans. Threatening to pull federal funding from the universities and college campuses that need our help the most is, at best, wildly counterproductive. Moreover, the amendment is so broad that it threatens to defund institutions that are working in good faith to fight antisemitism on campus. Under Representative Lawler’s construction, a university might lose its funding if a single student showed up to a single event with a single antisemitic sign—even if that student had no affiliation with the school. It should also be noted that Congress doesn't cut funding to universities when individual students on campus use vile racist or homophobic speech.
The scourge of antisemitism is real, and we have real work to do. Draconian measures like the Lawler Amendment are a step in the wrong direction.