DOZENS OF HBCU LEADERS IN D.C. THIS WEEK: HBCU chiefs are pushing for support for their schools on the Hill during their annual fly-in. They’ll hear a “fireside chat” this morning between Harris and Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Foundation, which represents 47 public HBCUs.
— A graduate of Howard University, Harris is the only top-tier 2020 presidential candidate who’s an HBCU alum — and she’s incorporated those credentials into her campaign. Nolan D. McCaskill has more on that.
— But she’s not the only likely 2020 candidate throwing support behind the schools. The 80 members of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, formally launched again this week for the 116th Congress, include a handful of other likely hopefuls — Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) among them.
— The caucus rolled out legislation, deemed the HBCU PARTNERS Act, that would require federal agencies with relevant grants and programs to create an annual plan of how to better engage and support HBCU participation. The agencies would then have to measure, track and report their progress to Congress. It’s meant to build on an executive order Trump signed in 2017.
— Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), who introduced the House bill with Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), called it “a major goal” for the caucus. A Senate version was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and is co-sponsored by Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Harris. Bianca Quilantan has more.
— The caucus’ other priorities include additional funding for HBCUs and greater investments in infrastructure on their campuses. “These institutions provide over $15 billion annually to our economy and have provided pathways of opportunity for millions of Americans, particularly low-income and first-generation college students,” Adams said.