This Is Why We Hold Hearings
Posted by on May 22, 2013

Yesterday's Monetary Policy & Trade Subcommittee hearing showed a heartbreaking example of the unintended consequences of uninformed legislative action.

Congressman Mick Muvaley explains in the video above how a provision buried deep within the 2,300-page Dodd-Frank Act is hurting the very people it was supposed to help in the war-torn central African nation of the Congo. The provision – added to Dodd-Frank as Section 1502 without any congressional hearings – requires public companies to certify their supply chains are free of any and all “conflict minerals” originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As many as 12.5 million Congolese – 17% of the country’s population – depend on mineral trading to make a living. But today, as the conflict rages on, up to 2 million Congolese miners have lost their livelihoods and are now even more impoverished than before Dodd-Frank’s enactment.

One of our witnesses at yesterday's hearing and a native of the Congo himself, Mvemba Dizolele, noted: “Oversimplification of issues often produces inadequate, counterproductive policies.” He’s right. And that’s why legislative hearings are critical to understanding the potential consequences of public policy.
The opinions expressed below are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent those of this office.
  • Tim Malanga commented on 5/24/2013
    Sir, I think you are missing the point. I, myself, am a congolese and I caanot comprehend how any effort to fight illegal wars that have killed MORE THAN FIVE MILLIONS HUMAN BEINGS can be said by you is hurting? Well, at the very least, it is hurting at a lesser degree than the brutality of war. You may mention the recent events of violence but that could be a way of reacting to the coming regulations. Why would you not help regulate this and use the upper position of your house of congress to put pressure on the DRC government and neighbouring governments to work towards helping their people. What is so complicated about the violence in Congo than any other place, such as Libya or Iraq where you helped stop brutality?!?!? Letting anyone continue to steal and sell minerals in Congo is not helping the people. Even if the Dodd-Frank enactement is hurting us as a side effect, I just believe that in the long term it is going to prove beneficial. Please do not prioritise business and money over human beings. If anything, please show some degree of compassion for SO MANY CHILDREN who have been left PARENTLESS in the Congo just because everyone wants to have a hand on the minerals and by letting your business lobyists buying these minerals YOU ARE INDEED CONTRIBUTING TO THE KILLING. Please, show mercy and help the people of Congo. A life is more honourable than financial gains.
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