With pro-Palestinian demonstrators still encamped at the University of Pennsylvania and disruptive protests continuing on campuses across the country, federal and state politicians could use the power of the purse to force administrators to act.

Multiple bills targeting on-campus antisemitism are being considered in Congress.

They include the Countering Antisemitism Act proposed last month by Delaware Valley Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks).

The bill would create the National Coordinator to Counter Antisemitism within the White House. The coordinator would direct American efforts against antisemitism and review antisemitism training and resource programs at federal agencies.

Fitzpatrick told DVJournal antisemitism needs to be faced head-on. “The virulent rise in antisemitism we have been seeing at colleges and universities across the country is highly disturbing.”

Fitzpatrick and fellow Delaware Valley Reps. Madeline Dean (D-Montgomery) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) voted for the Antisemitism Awareness Act earlier this month. Democrat Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon voted “no.”

The legislation directs the federal Education Department to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism when it enforces laws against discrimination.

The Senate version of the bill was co-sponsored by Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.). It’s not known if the Democrat-controlled Senate will pass the bill.

A resolution that condemned antisemitism on college campuses was blocked by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) last week. Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats, said the resolution, authored by Scott, didn’t go far enough because it refused to condemn Islamophobia and other forms of racism.

Scott also introduced a bill that bans colleges and universities from participating in federal student loan and grant programs if they authorize antisemitic events.

He used Penn’s hosting of a Palestine Writes Literature Festival as an example of an antisemitic event on campus. That event, which overlapped with Yom Kippur last fall, featured noted antisemites like Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame and Noura Eraket, a Rutgers professor who said Zionism was a “bedfellow” to Nazism. Penn leaders condemned antisemitism but said they were not involved in organizing the festival.

A similar bill could become law in Pennsylvania.

Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) said earlier this month he would introduce legislation that ended taxpayer support for state-owned or state-related colleges that allow or support any on-campus events that promote antisemitism. Any school that supported or participated in antisemitism would lose funding for the next academic year.

He cited Anti-Defamation League statistics said antisemitic incidents rose 400 percent after Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel last Oct. 7.

“Jewish students deserve to feel the same level of safety and security on campus as students from any other religion or nation,” Mastriano said. “Pennsylvania taxpayer-funded colleges and universities that fail to protect Jewish students and quash antisemitism do not deserve to receive state tax dollars.”

When asked by DVJournal about the bills in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., a Penn spokesperson said, “We will look into this and get back to you,” but never did.

A Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia spokesperson told DVJournal the group wants accountability for college campuses that enable antisemitism. The group said universities need to remember authorizing or supporting events that promote on-campus antisemitism threatens the safety of Jewish-identifying students and faculty.

“Higher education institutions should continue to support constitutional rights and freedoms, but not at the cost of other individuals’ well-being…Intolerable hate should not be a partisan matter,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) did not respond to a question asking if the governor would support Mastriano’s bill.