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Congress Tackles Conflict Minerals via Financial Reform Bill

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Congress Tackles Conflict Minerals via Financial Reform Bill

Posted by Laura Heaton on June 25, 2010

Congress Tackles Conflict Minerals via Financial Reform Bill

Enough’s advocacy team has called this week – and yesterday in particular – the most important moment for Congo in the U.S. Congress in years. In record numbers, advocates responded to the red alert calls to action, and pressed key senators to ensure that an amendment on Congo’s conflict minerals was included in the financial reform bill.

At around 10:30 last night, after a full day of considering potential amendments, the conference committee accepted the conflict minerals language introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) into the final version of the bill. Not only was it accepted without opposition during the voice vote, key provisions around independent audits were strengthened.

The House and Senate still need to vote on the full financial reform legislation (slated for next week), but advocates can claim an important victory for helping ensure that the conflict minerals component – with the strong provisions we advocated for – is part of that bill.

Reacting to the news, Enough’s John Prendergast said, "A year ago most members of Congress hadn't even heard of conflict minerals. In the middle of a turbulent legislative calendar, activists all over the country were heard loudly and clearly: We demand conflict-free products and we expect our legislators to do all they can to ensure that."

Watch how it played out in the committee: 

Of course, we’ll be monitoring the vote on final passage of the financial reform bill closely, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, please join us in thanking the members of Congress who played a pivotal role this week in ensuring that the U.S. government takes a proactive role in addressing the conflict minerals trade in Congo. And perhaps most importantly, thank you to all of the Congo advocates and concerned consumers who mobilized on Facebook and over the phone this week to press Congress to take strong action to end the trade in conflict minerals from Congo. Congratulations – your message was heard.