GOP Blasts Biden Response to Campus Protests, Calls for Cutting University Funds

President Joe Biden addressed the recent disruptive protests on college campuses, calling for order to be restored amid demonstrations related to the conflict in Gaza. The Republican response varied, with some expressing disappointment in the President’s delayed reaction and others proposing measures such as ending federal funding for universities unable to control the protests.

Republicans have criticized the President for what they perceive as a slow response to the college protests. Representative Elise Stefanik criticized Biden for “failing to meet the moment,” while Senator Josh Hawley mocked Biden’s remark about Islamophobia in a speech condemning antisemitism. Senator John Thune welcomed Biden’s address but believes it came too late, stating, “The country needs to hear from our leaders, and obviously, the president’s voice in this matters.”

In response to the protests, some Republicans, including Hawley and Speaker Mike Johnson, have proposed actions such as deploying the National Guard to clear the protests and ending federal funding for universities unable to control the demonstrations. Senator Thune emphasized the need for college campuses to address the situation, stating, “These college campuses need to feel the heat. They get a lot of federal money.”

The college protests have also prompted Democrats to shift their stance on the conflict in Gaza, with some House lawmakers voting in favor of an antisemitism bill despite concerns about its impact on free speech. Democrats have condemned the harassment of Jews on college campuses, and even Senator Bernie Sanders, a vocal critic of Israel, expressed support for Biden’s condemnation of violence and antisemitism.

While Democrats grapple with how to show support for Palestinians without being labeled as extremists by Republicans, Senator Hawley equated student protesters with individuals advocating violence against Jews. He criticized Biden for what he sees as a politically motivated response to the protests.

Additionally, Speaker Johnson has initiated a House-wide investigation into the campus demonstrations and called on Biden to address the situation with “moral clarity.”

Written by Staff Reports

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