Of these groups, the most active lobby in support of conditional MFN status renewal was the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars (IFCSS), which represents over 40,000 Chinese citizens from some 150 US universities.(109) These students and scholars rallied for support by writing and visiting legislators, distributing information packets, and testifying at congressional hearings.
Elaine Budd, a lobbyist who worked with IFCSS on a pro bono basis, said that it was very difficult for the students to compete against the pro-MFN lobbies because the student lobby had very little money.(110) One significant consequence of a lack of funding is an inability to commission studies.
(109.) Although both sides of the MFN debate have said Chinese dissidents supportt their view, the IFCSS is the largest representative organization of Chinese scholars and students in the United States.