The House of Representatives approved an amendment presented by Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 by a voice vote on Thursday night.
In a major blow to companies that do business with terrorist nations, the Rivera amendment prohibits the Department of Defense from contracting goods or services from any person or business that does business with a U.S.-designated State Sponsor of Terrorism. The amendment stops the flow of taxpayer dollars to business entities that do business with terrorist states and closes the loophole that allows foreign companies like Repsol to partner with State Sponsors of Terrorism while simultaneously profiting from American taxpayers through their subsidiaries. Repsol has over $300 million in contracts with the Department of Defense while also partnering with the Cuban dictatorship in oil exploration efforts.
Currently, the Department of State designates Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as State Sponsors of Terrorism.
"Many Americans would be outraged to know that there are foreign businesses conducting business with terrorist nations, while at the same time engaging in contract and procurement activity with the Department of Defense. I believe most Americans would agree this is not only a threat to American security, but also a threat to American jobs because these foreign businesses are taking job opportunities from American businesses that could be contracting with the Pentagon," Congressman Rivera stated.
"This amendment would prohibit businesses that engage in business activity with terrorist nations--those nations that have been officially designated as sponsor of terrorism by our own government--from contracting and procurement opportunities with the Department of Defense. This is an issue of protecting not only American security, but protecting American jobs." Congressman Rivera concluded.
Passage of this amendment further confirms and reiterates congressional intent concerning the prohibition of public tax dollars going to business entities that do business with terrorist states.