A House Democrat and Republican have introduced bipartisan legislation that would impose ‘antisemitism monitors’ on U.S. colleges and universities that accept federal funding.

“Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) and Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) plan to introduce the COLUMBIA Act, a bill that would create ‘antisemitism monitors’ at select colleges,” Axios writes.

The bill stands for the ‘College Oversight and Legal Updates Mandating Bias Investigations and Accountability Act.’

Per Axios:

The bill would allow the Department of Education to send a “third-party antisemitism monitor” to any college that receives federal funding — and to revoke that funding for colleges that don’t comply.

The monitor, paid for by the school, would be charged with releasing a public, quarterly report evaluating “the progress that a college or university has made toward combating antisemitism.”

The proposed legislation comes in wake of the widespread anti-Israel protests at Columbia University.

Lawler called the protests “antisemitic.”

“Every single one of these college and university presidents who refused to take action should immediately resign in disgrace, and if they don’t resign—their a***s should be thrown out! I have never seen a more disgraceful act than what we are seeing on college campuses right now,” Lawler said.


Protestors demand the university cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies they claim are enabling the conflict in Gaza.

From the Associated Press:

At Columbia, student negotiators representing the encampment said that after meetings Thursday and Friday, the university had not met their primary demand for divestment, although there was progress on a push for more transparent financial disclosures.

“We will not rest until Columbia divests,” said Jonathan Ben-Menachem, a fourth-year doctoral student.

Columbia officials had said earlier that talks were showing progress.

“We have our demands; they have theirs,” university spokesperson Ben Chang said, adding that if the talks fail, Columbia will have to consider other options.

Meanwhile, Columbia’s president, Minouche Shafik, faced a significant — but largely symbolic — rebuke from faculty Friday but retained the support of trustees, who have the power to hire or fire the president.

A report by the university senate’s executive committee, which represents faculty, found Shafik and her administration took “many actions and decisions that have harmed Columbia University.” Those included calling in police and letting students be arrested without consulting faculty, failing to defend the institution in the face of external pressures, misrepresenting and suspending student protest groups and hiring private investigators.

“This past week’s crisis at Columbia is not an isolated incident – it is the straw that has broken the camel’s back – and I am prepared to do something about it,” Torres said in the statement, according to the Columbia Spectator.

“Jewish students have told my office that they feel completely abandoned by their university administrators and they view Congress as the only avenue for accountability and safety. Let’s honor our word to them and get this done,” he added.

Critics of the proposed legislation say it violates freedom of speech, religion, and assembly.

“Some of my colleagues are introducing legislation to create federally sanctioned ‘antisemitism monitors’ at colleges. I’ll vote No. Policing speech, religion, and assembly is not the role of the federal government. In fact it’s expressly prohibited by the U.S. Constitution,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said.

Massie warned there’s an effort in Congress to equate criticism of the Israeli government to violence towards Jewish people in the United States.

“There’s a bipartisan effort in Congress to equate criticism of the secular state of Israel to violence toward Jewish people in America. The latter is illegal and the former is protected speech, but if a false equivalency is established, it will be forbidden to criticize Israel,” Massie said.

The New York Post reports:

The monitor would issue quarterly reports and make policy suggestions to local, state and federal lawmakers to bring colleges and universities in line.

If they fail to comply, the schools — which would have to pay for expenses incurred by the monitorship — would lose all federal funding.

“Rising antisemitism on our college campuses is a major concern and we must act to ensure the safety of students,” said Lawler, who earlier this week tore into demonstrators supporting Hamas at Columbia’s “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.”

“If colleges will not step up to protect their students, Congress must act,” he added.

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