Three more senators, Robert Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Tim Johnson (D-SD) signed on to the Congo Conflict Minerals Act 2009 (S. 891) over the holidays, solidifying 14 co-sponsors for this bipartisan bill introduced in April.
Introduced by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Dick Durbin (D-IL), the bill would require annual disclosure of U.S. activities involving columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, and wolframite from the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Securities and Exchange Commission. These conflict minerals, which wind up in everyday electronics that American consumers purchase, are helping fuel a devastating conflict that is ravaging eastern Congo. Paired with the House’s Conflict Minerals Trade Act (HR 4128), the U.S. Congress has taken commendable first steps to combat some of the factors perpetuating the conflict that has claimed a staggering 5.4 million lives.
If you need a refresher on how conflict minerals end up in our electronic devices, check out this video: