US Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), has just announced that he reintroduced legislation to renew sanctions on Burma's military regime. House Joint Resolution 109 will continue the ban on all imports from Burma as part of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act.
Congressman Crowley says “While we have seen many signs of progress in Burma, there is still much more to be done. Too many political prisoners are still in prison, violence continues against ethnic minorities, and not all necessary political reforms have been put in place. At this pivotal moment, it’s vitally important the U.S. carefully balance its efforts to recognize the political changes we’ve seen take place in Burma with a consistent message that far more progress is needed. That’s why it is critical we keep this legislation in place and to continue to push for change. The U.S. has been right to respond in some way to the political changes we’ve seen in Burma, but now is not the time to lift all sanctions,”
Each year, Congress must vote to renew sanctions on Burma as part of the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act. Signed into law in 2003, the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act strengthened existing U.S. sanctions by banning imports from Burma. Together, the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act and the Block Burmese JADE Act have prevented hundreds of millions of dollars from getting into the hands of Burma’s military leaders.
In January 2012, Crowley became the first member of the U.S. House of Representatives to officially travel to Burma in over 12 years. In addition to authoring legislation to renew the ban on all imports from Burma contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, Crowley also spearheaded the effort to strengthen sanctions on Burma’s military leaders through the Block Burmese JADE Act and lead the successful effort to award Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal.
Congressman Crowley is the seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House of Representatives.