Florida Republican Rep. Francis Rooney, a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, suggested Tuesday night that members may consider restricting funds from universities that limit free speech rights on campus.
“I think there is a bill out there to not fund the University of California at Berkeley for what they did. And I think it’s certainly worth considering just like the idea of not funding sanctuary cities,” Rooney said on “Patriot Tonight” on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel.
Rooney went on to say, “It’s certainly worth considering cutting back funds federal funds to schools that don’t believe enough in our Constitution and our free speech to defend it.”
Following violence early in the year that broke out on the campus of UC Berkeley because of protests against libertarian provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, President Donald Trump tweeted, “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
California Democrats lashed out at the president for his tweet. California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, whose district includes Berkeley’s campus, said in a statement:
“Berkeley has a proud history of dissent and students were fully within their rights to protest peacefully. However, I am disappointed by the unacceptable acts of violence last night which were counterproductive and dangerous,” she said. “President Donald Trump cannot bully our university into silence. Simply put, President Trump’s empty threat to cut funding from UC Berkeley is an abuse of power.”
Rooney, however, believes such legislation would have support in the House.
“I think there would be a lot of people that would want to do that and I think there’s a couple of bills in place,” he said.