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John Oliver as Dodd-Frank Act: “Lobby, lobby, lobby gets you access here”

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John Oliver as Dodd-Frank Act: “Lobby, lobby, lobby gets you access here”

Posted by Chloe Christman on August 4, 2011

Jon Stewart took up the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act in his show last week, reminding us of what we’re up against in the fight for strong implementation of the bill’s Section 1502 on conflict minerals. In a way that no one but John Oliver can pull off, HR 4173 is brought to life, looking quite tattered. So much so that Jon Stewart asks, “What the hell happened to you?”


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In recent weeks, strong corporate lobbyists, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and certain members of Congress, have been pressuring the Securities and Exchange Commission to delay the implementation of the conflict minerals regulations or to opt for a “phased-in approach” to implementation.

SEC regulations will go a long way in providing incentive for companies to trace and audit their supply chains, putting in place the processes that will help legitimize the trade in Congo’s minerals so that is no longer fueling conflict in the region and can instead benefit people in local communities. Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act has already begun to shake up things on the ground, but a delay or phased-in approach to these regulations will significantly hinder efforts toward a legitimate certification system in the region.

The lobbying Congo advocates are up against is powerful – and well-funded. A recent article in The New York Times puts the figure at $100 million spent by the financial industry to influence the implementation of Dodd-Frank. And just today an article by Reuters included conflict minerals as one of five provisions from the act most at risk, again due to strong lobbying efforts.

This means we have our work cut out for us, and we’ll be fighting hard. Activists have petitioned the SEC twice already to ask for strong implementation of the conflict minerals regulations. Now we’re asking people to go to their own member of Congress to encourage them to speak up to the SEC and voice strong opposition for a delay and phased-in approach. We have the power to encourage our elected officials to weigh in and make sure they represent your views on this issue.

Here is what you can do:

1. Send an email to your members of Congress. Ask your senators and representative to weigh in with the SEC in support the approach of no additional delays and no phase-ins on the conflict minerals provision.

2. Join the Raise Hope for Congo campaign and Enough's Congo experts for a national conference call to hear more about the pressure the SEC is facing and additional steps you can take to ensure strong regulations.

When: Friday, Aug 5th (tomorrow!) at 3:00 p.m. ET or Tuesday, Aug. 9th at 7:00 p.m. ET
Dial-In: 1-888-387-8686 ID: 8565908

This is a critical moment for conflict minerals regulations. In the words of John Oliver: “Lobby, lobby, lobby gets you access” in Washington, D.C. We may be up against powerful lobbyists, but we won’t back down.