Democrats on the House Education and Labor Committee blocked a budget amendment from Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., that would have barred federal funds from U.S. schools that partner with China's Confucius Institutes.
Stefanik's push came after the Biden administration withdrew a rule that required schools participating in certain federal programs to disclose ties with Confucius Institutes, which have been accused of propagating Communist China’s viewpoints in U.S. classrooms.
The proposal was put forward as an amendment to Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, Stefanik said, and it aims to prevent taxpayer dollars from making their way to institutions that have partnerships with entities owned by the Chinese government.
The proposal would have barred funds from institutions that partner with organizations "owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Government of the People’s Republic of China or organized under the laws of the People’s Republic of China."
"We must prevent American taxpayer dollars from going to institutions that have partnerships with any entity owned, controlled, or organized under the laws of the Chinese Communist Party, which we know is censoring free speech, engaging in genocide in Xinjiang Province, and influencing American academia before our eyes," Stefanik said in a statement to Fox News.
China began establishing Confucius Institutes on college campuses in 2004, including its first in the U.S. at the University of Maryland. The number of Confucius Institutes in the U.S. has since ballooned to more than 100, which is the most of any country, according to a government report.
There are also Confucius classrooms in K-12 grade school.
President Donald Trump proposed a rule on Dec. 31 that would have required schools certified to have student and exchange visitor programs to disclose agreements with Confucius Institutes and classrooms, including partnerships and financial dealings.
The rule was withdrawn at the end of January.
The former administration was concerned about China’s influence in the U.S. school system because the Chinese government funds the institutes and provides Chinese teachers to instruct on a variety of subjects, ranging from language to cultural events.
The government has said those teachers sign contracts with the Chinese government stipulating they will not "damage the national interests of China."
A U.S. government report found that the Chinese government provided more than $158 million in funding to U.S. schools for Confucius Institutes since 2006. However, the report also noted that a number of schools failed to properly report the funding they received.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in August that the U.S. had designated the Confucius Institute as a "foreign mission of the People’s Republic of China," characterizing it as an entity controlled by the communist government in Beijing that advances a "global propaganda and malign influence campaign on U.S. campuses and K-12 classrooms."
During an interview with FOX Business in September, Pompeo suggested the institutes may have been used to recruit spies on college campuses.
Pompeo and other Republicans have called for Confucius Institutes to close.
News of the rule being withdrawn was first reported by The Daily Caller.
The Biden administration moved to undo several orders submitted by Trump in his final days in office, including some health care orders. The president has also reversed policies implemented by Trump in areas ranging from immigration to climate change.