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Rolling Back Extractives Transparency Measure Will Hamper National Security
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In one of the first substantive votes of the new Congress, the U.S. Senate utilized a controversial procedure and voted this morning (52-47) to kill a landmark anti-corruption measure, known as Cardin-Lugar (or Section 1504 of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010)—in a move panned by non-partisan anti-corruption experts.
Originally sponsored by former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Section 1504 combats corruption and protects national security by requiring oil, gas, or mining companies that file an annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose their country and project-level payments to host governments each year.
Clark Gascoigne, the deputy director of the FACT Coalition, issued the following statement:
“We are extremely disappointed that the Congress chose to strike such an important anti-corruption safeguard. Corruption is more than just a threat to economic growth and human rights; corruption threatens U.S. national security by fueling and funding terrorism and driving conflict globally. Disclosure of company payments to governments for access to natural resources, and government commitments to publish receipts of those payments, are key to battling corruption and ensuring citizens benefit from their country’s natural resource wealth.
“It is alarming that lawmakers would move to undermine American efforts to combat violent extremism abroad by rolling back this anti-corruption measure, which protects American companies and democratic interests around the globe. It is especially surprising that lawmakers would prioritize such a move in the first days of a new Congress.”
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