Republican Florida lawmakers, Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott joined by Rep. Michael Waltz, have introduced the Venezuelan Contracting Restriction Act, which would restrict U.S. government contracts from being awarded to companies that are engaged in business with Nicolas Maduro.
The bill compliments the Small Scale LNG Access Act that Waltz introduced last month with the help of Republican Rep. Ted Yoho.
In addition, the legislation comes at a time when there’s been mounting pressure for Maduro to step down as President of Venezuela. President Donald Trump and the United States recognized the National Assembly’s decision to declare Nicolas Maduro illegitimate, which was the country’s act of invoking their constitution.
Commenting on the legislation, Senator Rubio explained that “Maduro and his criminal, illegitimate regime are responsible for a humanitarian and economic catastrophe in Venezuela that is destabilizing the region and increasing threats to U.S. national security.” With the newly introduced legislation, it would “ensure that no American taxpayer dollars go to any company that’s doing business with Maduro’s narco-terrorist regime.”
He further described that in joining the growing number of nations that “recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate Interim President, the United States must do all it can to support the Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore democracy, the rule of law, and human dignity.”
Waltz echoed in the Senator’s remarks, explaining that “companies choosing to do business with Nicolas Maduro and his thugs are subsidizing his chokehold on the Venezuelan people, helping fund violent attacks against the growing opposition, and cracking down on the legitimate, internationally recognized government of Venezuela led by Juan Guaidó.” Moreover, “this bill sends a clear message that the United States stands with the people of Venezuela, our taxpayer dollars will not trickle down to Maduro, and that we expect accountability with those that do business with the United States.”