Republican Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate approves bill to protect telecommunications infrastructure from foreign threats Hillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook Rubio calls for federal investigation into Amazon employee benefits MORE (Fla.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonA pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Sen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic ‘gridlock’ on reconciliation package Republicans’ mantra should have been ‘Stop the Spread’ MORE (Wisc.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFlake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell’s death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it MORE (Texas) are raising concerns about President BidenJoe BidenBiden administration takes aim at methane emissions McConnell blasts potential payments to separated migrant families Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don’t believe their vote will be counted accurately MORE‘s nomination of Amy Gutmann to serve as U.S. ambassador to Germany.
In a letter to Senate Foreign Relations chairman Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden sets off high-stakes scramble over spending framework Why is Trump undermining his administration’s historic China policies? Senate GOP signals they’ll help bail out Biden’s Fed chair MORE (D-N.J.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), Rubio, Johnson and Cruz said they are “deeply concerned” that Gutman’s nomination was part of a “quid pro quo”
The Republican senators raised concerns relating to Biden’s appointment as the University of Pennsylvania’s Benjamin Franklin Presidential Professor of Practice during Gutmann’s tenure as president of the university. He was nominated to the role in 2017, after serving eight years as vice president, and left it in 2021.
“It appears that President Biden could be rewarding a friend who previously provided him with more than $900,000 for what seems to have been a no-show job as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania,” the senators wrote.
The White House announced Gutmann’s nomination in late July, as Biden’s first ambassadorship nomination to a Group of Seven (G-7) country. If confirmed, she would be the first woman to serve in the role.
Gutmann is an expert in political philosophy who has served as the University of Pennsylvania’s president since 2004. She previously worked as a provost and faculty dean at Princeton University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
In their letter, the senators wrote that Biden’s role at the University of Pennsylvania required “no active teaching” on Biden’s part and urged the panel to press Gutmann on the part she played in recruiting Biden to the professorship, and to ask her if other honorary professors received roughly $900,000 in compensation.
The letter also points to a February 2020 report from The Philadelphia Inquirer, which alleges that Penn received at least $258 million in foreign donations from 2013 to 2019, with most of that money coming from Chinese entities.
“At minimum, it is critical to establish whether Dr. Gutmann was involved in any quid pro quo tied to Biden’s salary and whether Dr. Gutmann is compromised given the massive influx of Chinese funds into the University,” the senators said.
The Hill has reached out to the White House and the University of Pennsylvania for comment.