Trump to sign executive order threatening aid to colleges if speakers banned

Posted on: March 21st, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian(WASHINGTON) — Colleges could be denied certain federal research and education grants if they fail to comply with free speech statutes under an executive order President Donald Trump will sign Thursday, an administration official said.

In doing so, Trump is responding to a rallying cry among conservatives who say their views are suppressed on campuses, and that speakers are sometimes assaulted or banned when protesters threaten violence.

The executive order would direct 12 grant-making agencies to work with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure universities are complying with federal law in an effort to promote free speech on college campuses, the senior administration official said Thursday morning in a phone call with reporters.

The executive order would not affect student aid money, and would also require the Department of Education to publish information on earnings, debt, default rates and loan repayment rates to the college score card, the senior administration official said.

The order would also require the Education Department to submit policy recommendations to the president about institutions sharing the financial risk of student loans, the official said.

Trump has publicly teased an executive order to make colleges comply with free speech rules.

“If they want our dollars and we give it to them by the billions they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many other great young people and old people to speak,” Trump said earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC.

He was referring to the case of Hayden Williams, who was allegedly assaulted at the University of California, Berkley, when he was recruiting for a conservative group.

“And if they don’t, it will be very costly,” Trump added.

Trump has also tweeted about the issue, saying: “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”

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