Today, we joined 61 other organizations in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requesting expedited passage of the House version of the Elie Wiesel Act, H.R.3030, via the Senate’s unanimous consent process.
Why The House Bill Over The Senate Bill?
There is a Senate companion bill of the Elie Wiesel Act (S.1158) as well. As the letter states, while the House and Senate bills are nearly identical, the provision related to the training of Foreign Services Officers is stronger and more effective in the House version.
What the Bill Does
HR 3030 is new federal legislation that will ensure the U.S. government has the tools, training, and funding needed to save lives and promote peace when it becomes apparent that mass atrocity situations are becoming a threat on foreign soil. Specifically, this legislation:
- Ensures U.S. government inter-agency cooperation to prevent mass atrocities and genocide.
- Requires training for Foreign Service Officers to identify early warning signs of genocide.
- Requires the Executive Branch to update Congress on U.S. measures to mitigate violence in specific countries, funding related to conflict prevention initiatives, and a global assessment of instability, conflict, and atrocities.
Earlier this year as part of our Grassroots Advocacy program, our Tennessee activists secured David Kustoff (R-TN) and Steve Cohen (D-TN), the two Congressmen who represent our home city of Memphis, TN, as cosponsors of H.R. 3030. On May 17, the bill was voted unanimously out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Following 13 months of grassroots advocacy work here in Tennessee by 600+ of our activists, the Senate companion bill S.1158 was passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 26 under the leadership of Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). And on July 17, the Elie Wiesel Act passed the United States House of Representatives in a landslide 406-5 vote.
As this bipartisan bill now waits for affirmation by the U.S. Senate, we remain grateful for all of you who played a critical role in moving these bills forward. The prevention of genocide, war crimes, and other mass atrocity crises should be a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy.
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is working to accelerate their ability to generate lasting change through storytelling, education and relief, and advocacy programs.
If you're not currently involved in empowering the Sudanese people, here are a few easy ways to join us from wherever you are:
1. Thank Congressmen Kustoff and Cohen and Senator Corker! If you live in their districts, you can write a brief thank you letter and mail it to their Washington D.C. offices or call them there as well. Congressman Kustoff's contact information is here, Congressman Cohen's contact information is here, and Senator Corker's contact information is here.
2. Become A Fundraiser. You can start an online fundraising page for the Endure Primary School in Yida Refugee Camp or Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains. Bonus points: we also have a new campaign that has soft-launched that you can join early. Your efforts will change lives. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »
3. Make A Donation. You can directly support the Sudanese people through the programs we sponsor in Sudan with a one-time donation. GIVE HERE »