But there’s a reason money was earmarked for Howard: Because the historically black university was directly chartered by Congress, it does not access the same federal funds as other colleges and universities. It receives an annual federal appropriation and has since the 1920s.
Without the emergency funding provided by the stimulus bill, Howard would get nothing.
Gallaudet University was also mentioned in the bill. The university for the deaf and hard of hearing in the District was created by Congress in 1864 and is slated to receive $7 million from the stimulus bill.
“The proposed amount of emergency funding allotted to Howard is comparable to the support proposed for other colleges and universities in response to this unprecedented pandemic,” Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement. The funding also would assist Howard University’s hospital, which is one of the District’s designated covid-19 treatment facilities.
Gaetz’s comments quickly drew criticism. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a Howard graduate, tweeted that $13 million is a small amount of money compared with the proposed $30 billion education stabilization fund designed to assist primary, secondary and postsecondary schools. “Why do you take issue with money going to Howard, Congressman?” Harris asked in a tweet.
Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus, also reacted via Twitter.
“Congressional appropriations fund Howard University and Howard University Hospital,” Adams wrote. “It is absolutely appropriate for Howard University to receive emergency funding.”
The coronavirus relief bill passed the Senate on Wednesday and is expected to send about $14 billion to colleges and universities that are hemorrhaging cash. The allocation is $36 billion short of what higher-education advocates had requested. The Wednesday night vote ended days of negotiations over legislation originally introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that Democrats viewed as unfairly tilted toward corporations. The deal is expected to be passed in the House on Friday.