New “Transparency Act” Is Coming Soon 

( reports that The Think Tank Transparency Act of 2023 was just sponsored by Michigan Republican Representative Jack Bergman. If the bill is enacted, nonprofits must record any agreements and contracts with foreign companies to the Justice Department.  

Bergman said the American people have a right to discover what think tanks are doing and for whom they work.  With the rising amount of financing they get from foreign governments, frequently designated for particular projects, the concept that they are non-political, pseudo-academic bodies fighting for the national interest is not believable. 

Bergman’s appeal for openness is something every think tank researcher should support. The majority of academics want to conduct research that informs policy, and they will follow the data wherever it may lead, but the unethical activities of a few may tarnish the whole field. The need to out those who could be acting as unrecognized foreign agents is an absolute need.  

Congress passed the Higher Education Act of 1965 in response to escalating attempts by foreign powers to purchase influence via academics. Congress did not intrude on universities. It merely required them to record all foreign funding, including government funding. 

Universities still accept pay-to-play from international donors despite pleas for more openness and mandatory reporting. 

During the 2006 visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao at Yale, protesters were isolated at 

Old Campus, a quad far from the path of the Chinese delegation. This was the first of 

many red flags that should have been raised concerning the creeping tyranny of 

censorship and the perilous erosion of free expression at Yale. 

According to reports, the problem gained further attention when it was discovered that the University of Pennsylvania had accepted millions of dollars in hidden Chinese and international contributions while housing dozens of mismanaged sensitive papers at its Biden Center for Foreign Policy. 

Penn has collected tens of millions of dollars from overseas donors since President Biden took office, including  $15 million from anonymous donors in China and Hong Kong.   Penn has already obtained almost $60 million from the time the Biden Center opened in 2017. There’s no denying the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is thrilled with some of the Biden administration’s policies.