Special to the
Sens. Doug Jones (D-Alabama) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) are leading a group of 36 of their colleagues in a new push to pass funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs). In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the senators called for the immediate passage of Senator Jones’ bipartisan FUTURE Act legislation, which would reauthorize $255 million per year in mandatory federal funding – which expired on September 30, 2019 – for an additional two years. The House of Representatives approved the legislation unanimously in September.
“HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs are an essential component of America’s higher education and workforce development system,” the senators wrote. “Given the importance of this funding to hundreds of institutions and millions of students, we request that the Senate delay no longer and take up the bipartisan FUTURE Act immediately to avoid permanent damage to our nation’s historic colleges.”
Sens. Jones and Tester were joined in sending the letter by Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).