As we have reported before, the Conflict Minerals Trade Act is a great first step in ensuring that the flow of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo is stemmed. Conflict minerals play a large role in perpetuating conflict and human rights abuses through financing the activities of many armed groups in the region, and end up in pieces of technology you use every day, including the equipment you’re using to read these words.
Although the bill now has 30 cosponsors (in addition to Jim McDermott, the bill’s original sponsor), it is crucial to gain additional cosponsors if this life-saving bill is to make its way through Congress. Several members are in a unique position to provide strong and meaningful support to the legislation, including members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee such as Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida’s 18th district), Congressman Christopher H. Smith (New Jersey’s 4th district), and Congressman Mike Pence (Indiana’s 6th district).
But no member of Congress should pass up the opportunity to support this bill. And none of us should pass up the opportunity to tell them so.