The House Financial Services Committee today unanimously approved Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill to bar international companies whose business in Sudan supports the genocide in Darfur from receiving taxpayer-funded federal contracts. The bill is now scheduled for a floor vote next Monday.
“No one should have to worry that they are supporting genocide, whether it’s through their tax dollars or their pension fund,” Lee, D-Oakland, said in a release. “This bill is designed to wash the blood off of our federal contracts, protect the rights of states to divest their own public pension funds from companies doing business in Sudan and increase the financial pressure on Khartoum to end the genocide in Darfur.”
This is Lee’s third Darfur bill to reach a floor vote this year. The House in April voted 425-1 for her resolution urging the Arab League to acknowledge and step up its efforts to end the genocide. (The one dissenter was Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, R-Texas, who never votes for legislation unless it’s expressly authorized by the Constitution.) And the House in June voted 410-0 for her resolution urging China “to use its unique influence and economic leverage” to influence the Khartoum regime. Both those earlier bills are now pending in the U.S. Senate.