HBCUs Put Pressure on Congress to Pass Build Back Better Act

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The Build Back Better bill has faced some opposition, but now leaders of the HBCUs are doing their part to ensure the bill becomes law.

Sixty-five HBCU heads penned a letter urging Senate leaders to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion social spending bill this week. The bill would provide billions in dollars to HBCUs— and in the wake of the recent protests at Howard University, the bill’s passing could not come at a better time.

“There has been a consistent focus by the administration and Congress on correcting the historic underfunding of these great institutions,” the leaders wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The bill was passed in the House. Now all eyes are fixed on the Senate.

Minority-serving institutions would receive $10 billion in funding if BBB passes.

Tony Allen, the head of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, told Politico that the bill would help the institutions attract “quality faculty talent,” which has sometimes been “inhibited by the fact that we don’t have the best workspaces for them all the time.”

“I’m not sure how the votes will shake out in the end, but I can tell you that each of my colleagues are certainly doing their part to make sure that every legislator is very clear as to what this means with respect to a historic down payment on the inequities that have faced HBCUs for almost 200 years now,” he added.

Schumer told reporters that he planned to bring the bill to the Senate floor as soon as the week of Dec. 13.

“As soon as the necessary technical and procedural work with the Senate parliamentarian has been completed … the Senate will take up this legislation,” Schumer told The Hill.

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