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Fact Check-Biden’s ambitious HBCU funding proposal challenged in Congress

Misleading posts on social media sites say that the Biden administration cut funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by billions of dollars. Congress is still negotiating the amount to be allocated to HBCUs in reconciliation efforts. Posts on social media are misleading in saying that funding cuts have already taken effect, as it is a proposal that is being negotiated in Congress.

Articles (see examples archive.is/H2OGP and archive.is/ZdM8f ) sharing information on budget cuts for HBCUs and minority-serving institutions and a September 2021 congressional mark-up of the Build Back Better Act, observable here appear to be the catalysts for the misinterpretations on social media that the Biden-Harris Administration has made funding cuts to HBCUs.

One post reads, “Biden done cut HBCU funding by almost 40+billion down to 2 billion,” (here) while another says, “Biden’s spending plan cutting the budget at HBCUs by 88% is bullshit.. he does not like black people it’s only obvious at this point !!” (here)

Another user said, “So y’all ain’t gone say nothing about the BIDEN ADMINISTRATION CUTTING HBCU FUNDING!!!!!!!!!!!” (here)

A tweet saying “Joe Biden cut HBCU funding by over a billion..” is visible here .

The claims on social sites have prompted some HBCU leaders to address the misinformation.

Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough shared a Twitter thread on Oct. 5, 2021, on the notion that HBCU funding was slashed by $30 billion (here), saying, “It’s a lie.”

In his thread, he talks about what is given to HBCUs from the federal government through grants and development contracts (here) and how billions in funding were directed to HBCUs during the pandemic with the CARES Act (here) and Biden’s American Rescue Plan (here).

About the “cuts,” he said, “Biden-Harris pledged $70B to HBCUs & other MSIs (see campaign promise here ). “There has never been a proposal that audacious” (here) but that, “since partisan politics is now involved, Biden’s ambitious agenda is being scaled back. So the HBCU funding proposal, along with lots of others, have been revised. This happens all the time, both up and down.” (here)

More on the revision and lowering of the spending proposal here .

In an Oct. 8, 20201 article in Louisiana’s Monroe News-Star (here), Grambling State University President Rick Gallot said, “there’s a misconception that this proposal will lead to a decrease in HBCU funding when, in fact, the bill will lead to additional funding regardless of the outcome.”

Representatives for the White House told Reuters by phone that “the President has not cut funding for HBCUs.” According to a representative, “The President is committed to supporting and helping HBCUs.” (here).

The Biden administration also shared a fact sheet highlighting proposed HBCU funding for FY22. The document is viewable here .

Representatives from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) view the Build Back Better proposal as a “new $2 billion fund for HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) research infrastructure.”

The organization recognizes the suggested funding as “a brand new pot of money that has not previously existed.”

To Reuters’ questions regarding cuts to HBCU funding, the TMCF representative said, “there has been a decrease based upon the original proposals set forth by the administration, but again, these were not existing programs, but new programs the original figures presented were aspirational goals.”

As of this article’s publication, final 2022 funding allocations for HBCUs are yet to be determined.

The country is waiting for the details of Biden’s proposed budget currently being reconciled by Congress. (More on how Congress decides on a presidential budget request is visible here .)

Reuters reporting on negotiations on Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar spending plan is reviewable here .

VERDICT

Missing Context. Online claims that the Biden Administration cut existing funding for HBCUs are untrue. The Biden administration has made ambitious proposals to increase funding which are currently being negotiated in Congress.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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