Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and John Kennedy, R-La., co-sponsored the unsuccessful amendment, which would have banned federal funding from going to colleges and universities that discriminate against Asian American applicants when being recruited by schools or applying.
The senators released a joint statement after their amendment was shot down, blasting the Democrats’ votes against the measure as “an unbelievably cynical move.”
“In an unbelievably cynical move, Senate Democrats blocked efforts to stop discrimination against Asian Americans in higher education, where racial bias has become all too common,” the lawmakers said. “This amendment would bar funds from institutions that discriminate against Asian American students.”
“Despite their calls to end racism, it is clear Democrats are only paying lip service to fighting discrimination against Asian Americans and will allow targeted discrimination against them to continue at America’s universities and colleges,” the pair added.
In remarks on the Senate floor, Cruz pointed out that the Department of Justice “was suing Yale for its discrimination against Asian Americans until the Biden administration dismissed that lawsuit.”
“My amendment, simply put, would prohibit institutions of higher education from receiving any federal funding if they have a policy or if they engage in discrimination against Asian-Americans during recruitment, review of applications or admissions,” Cruz continued.
President Biden came under fire recently when his DOJ dropped the lawsuit against Yale University, started under the previous administration, that alleged the Ivy League school had discriminated against Asian applicants.
Several Asian American advocates and lawmakers spoke out against Biden’s DOJ dropping the lawsuit, saying the president’s actions did not meet his words.
Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Calif., one of the first two Korean American women elected to Congress, told Fox News that the DOJ would have pursued the Yale case if the administration was “serious about combating anti-Asian hate.”
“The Biden administration’s decision to drop the Yale lawsuit is totally wrong and sets a dangerous precedent,” said Steel. “If the administration is serious about combating anti-Asian hate, that includes protecting the AAPI community from discrimination in the halls of our schools and universities.”
“Students of all backgrounds should have the opportunity to compete on an equal playing field,” Steel added. “This type of behavior is only hurting future generations from being able to achieve their American dream.”