WASHINGTON—BishopOscar Cantú, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee onInternational Justice and Peace, today urged Congress to reject a CongressionalReview Act (CRA) (Senate: SJR 9; House: HJR 41) that would repeal rules designedto institute greater transparency and accountability in the payments that oiland mining companies make to foreign governments.
TheSecurities and Exchange Commission established these rules to implement theCardin-Lugar Anti-Corruption Rule, also known as "Section 1504" or the "PublishWhat You Pay" provision. The goal of the provision is to reduce corruption inpoor yet resource rich countries. Research shows that countries receiving 50%or more of government revenue from oil or mineral companies tend to have higherrates of corruption which undermine democratic institutions, good governance,and fair elections while allowing repressive governments to remain in power. Insuch cases, a country's natural wealth can become more of a curse than a blessing.
Bishop Cantúhas issued the following statement in response to Senate Resolution SJR 9 andHouse H.J. Resolution 41.
I renew our strong support for greater transparency andcomprehensive reporting in revenue payments. As my predecessor as Chairman, Bishop Howard Hubbard wrote,'Transparency in extractive industry payments to governments is important to usas leaders of the Catholic community of faith and institutions that areinvestors and consumers. We believe these principles, policies, and rules canhelp protect the lives, dignity and rights of some of the poorest and mostvulnerable people on earth. The rules have moral and human consequences as wellas economic and political impact.' Therefore, I urge all members of Congress to reject the CRA (SJR 9; HJR41) and instead protect the life and human dignity of all people from sufferingthe "resource curse."
Keywords:Bishop Oscar Cantú, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee ofInternational Justice and Peace, U.S. Congress, Congressional Review Act (CRA),repeal, Securities and Exchange Commission, Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption rule,extractive industries, corruption, common good, transparency.
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