May 31, 2007

Dodd Seeks More Action to Stop Genocide in Darfur

Committee Chairman calls on Treasury, industry to do their part

Washington, D.C. - Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, applauded the President's announcement today that the Department of the Treasury would extend U.S. sanctions to 30 Sudanese companies and three individuals who, according to the Administration, have contributed to the mass murder of countless people in Darfur. Dodd also insisted that more remained to be done, announcing his intention to push for speedy enactment of his bill to increase penalties against companies that invest in the Sudan and other rogue and terrorist nations. “I commend the President for toughening sanctions against Sudan. We must use every appropriate tool in our arsenal to stop the genocide there," Dodd said. “Unfortunately, this action has come very late-- hundreds of thousands of people are being murdered at the hands of brutal government-backed militias, and have been for over four years. We need to take action now, and the President should not wait one more day to do all that our country can to promote universal human rights.” As Chairman of the Senate panel with jurisdiction over foreign economic sanctions, Dodd earlier this month drafted and presided over Committee approval of sanctions penalties legislation. The International Emergency Economic Powers Enhancement Act, which is strongly supported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, would increase penalties on violators of U.S. sanctions law. Under the bill, individuals that have invested in a country or terrorist organization designated by the President as a major threat to the United States could be fined severely. The legislation passed out of Committee on May 16th. “It is critically important that the United States raise penalties against companies who are either negligently or willfully breaking our laws. The vast majority of U.S. companies are good corporate citizens. But there are some who may believe that paying a few fines is just a cost of doing business,” Dodd said. “This needs to end. My legislation will help deter wrongful investment and hold violators accountable for their actions.”