Congressman Spencer Bachus today commended the action of the House Financial Services Committee in adopting H.R. 180, the Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007. The legislation is designed to intensify economic pressure on the government of Sudan, which is conducting what the U.S. government has officially classified as genocide in the Darfur region.
Bachus issued the following statement.
"Some have said that today's legislation is too little, too late. This certainly may not be the case for more than a million innocent men, women, and children who have somehow survived the genocide and slaughter. We can't rewrite history or save lives already lost in Darfur. However, we can and must resolve to do better going forward. This legislation has the potential to give hundreds of thousands of peaceful and unarmed men, women, and children in Darfur an increased chance of surviving the genocide.
"Economic and financial considerations have been used to both block and water down our Sudan capital markets legislation in the past. Economic and financial considerations are important, but in a loving nation can never be used as justification for complicity in genocide. Closing our financial markets to those who participate directly or indirectly in the slaughter of innocent human beings is well within our ability and ought to be a bedrock principle. America is a loving nation, and allowing our financial markets to be utilized by an evil regime which conducts religious and racial genocide is inconsistent with our values and principles."
Congressman Bachus' involvement with economic sanctions against Sudan dates back to 2001, when he attached an amendment to the Sudan Peace Act that would have barred companies doing business with the government of Sudan from raising money in the U.S. capital markets. The amendment was part of legislation that passed the House, but was not accepted by the Senate. Bachus also cosponsored and voted for the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, which was signed into law in October 2006.
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