University President Drew G. Faust met with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other members of Congress on a trip to Washington, D.C. last week.
Faust discussed her recent trip—her second to the nation’s capital this year—at Tuesday’s Faculty meeting. Faust also met with Kevin Brady, a Republican representative from Texas, Patrick Leahy, a Democratic senator from Vermont, and Ron Kind '85, a Democratic representative from Wisconsin, among other Congress members, during the trip.
Faust told the Faculty that she discussed the University’s federal policy priorities, including the endowment’s tax-exempt status, research funding, and federal policies protecting undocumented students. Earlier this year, Faust met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer to discuss some of the same issues.
“Last week I was able to meet with a number of individuals in Congress and in national media,” Faust said at the meeting.
Faust has been “ramping up” her engagement with national politics since President Donald Trump’s election in November. During his campaign and in the early months of his administration, Trump has proposed several policies, including restricting immigration from several Muslim majority countries, that Faust has publicly opposed. Faust plans to travel to Washington again in April.
On this trip to Washington, Faust took part in a media roundtable at Bloomberg News’ Washington Bureau. Faust told journalists there that funding for the National Institute of Health, a key source of Harvard’s research funding, remains a major concern. She also emphasized the importance of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which some fear could be defunded under Trump’s administration.
Faust said she also met with “a number of our alumni in Congress,” including Kind, Senator Mike Crapo, a Republican from Idaho, and Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland.
Faust’s more frequent trips to D.C. are among several steps the University has taken in response to Trump’s policies. Harvard jointly filed two amicus briefs challenging Trump’s executive order barring immigration from Muslim majority countries.
—Staff writer Leah S. Yared can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Leah_Yared.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: March 8, 2017
A previous version of this story misstated the title of Senator Chris Van Hollen.
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