Representative Bradley Byrne

Representing the 1st District of Alabama

Byrne, Adams Re-Launch Bipartisan HBCU Caucus


Feb 24, 2017
Press Release

Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus co-chairs Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) reintroduced the HBCU Capital Financing Act last week and re-launched the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus in the 115th Congress.

Byrne said: “I am thrilled to once again partner with Representative Adams to launch the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. In Alabama and across the United States, HBCUs play a vital role in our nation’s higher education system, but they also face unique challenges. By working together across party lines, I believe we can educate other Members of Congress and support our nation’s HBCUs.

“The HBCU Capital Financing Act is the perfect example of bipartisan legislation that will enable HBCUs to better upgrade and maintain their campuses. I look forward to working with the Caucus to move this legislation forward and spread the word about the important work HBCUs are performing across the nation.”

Adams said: “HBCUs play a critical role in our nation’s higher education system. The more than 100 HBCUs across our country enroll approximately 300,000 students every year and disproportionately provide first-generation and low-income students with vital higher education opportunities. Unfortunately, many HBCUs lack the large endowments often found at other institutions.

“Programs such as the HBCU Capital Financing Program supplement smaller endowments and provide HBCUs with funding for much needed upgrades and maintenance to their campuses. I am proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation with my Caucus co-chair, Congressman Byrne, and I look forward to working with the entire Bipartisan HBCU Caucus to continue providing increased opportunities for our students and our schools.”

The HBCU Capital Financing Act:

  • Reclassifies the “escrow account” as a “bond insurance fund.” HBCUs participating in the Capital Financing Program currently pay a fee that is assembled into an “escrow account” to pay for any loan defaults or delinquencies. This change would allow more public institutions to participate in the program.
  • Provides additional support to institutions interested in participating, but unable to meet the program’s financial requirements. The bill will allow the Department of Education to offer financial counseling, in addition to the technical assistance already provided.

The Bipartisan HBCU Caucus is led by co-chairs Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) and vice-chairs Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Rep. French Hill (R-AR).  The Caucus was founded in April 2015 and works to increase awareness of issues faced by HBCUs and expand opportunities for HBCUs and their students. During the 115th Congress, the Caucus looks forward to hosting events to keep members and their staffs informed on key issues facing HBCUs and growing the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus Summer Internship Program.  There are 55 members of this bipartisan and bicameral caucus.