WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Rick Scott, Jacky Rosen, Marco Rubio and Thom Tillis introduced the Banning Operations and Leases with the Illegitimate Venezuelan Authoritarian Regime (BOLIVAR) Act. This legislation holds Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro accountable by prohibiting federal agencies from doing business with anyone that supports the oppressive Maduro regime. Congressman Michael Waltz introduced the companion bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives. In 2019, Senator Scott’s Senator Rick Scott said, “Nicolas Maduro is committing a genocide against the people of Venezuela. Not one cent of U.S. taxpayer money can be used to prop up this murderous regime. As Governor, I strictly prohibited the State of Florida, including all state agencies, from investing in any company that is doing business with Maduro’s oppressive government. Today, I’m proud to lead my colleagues and continue this important work to prohibit all federal agencies from doing business with anyone that supports Maduro. We can’t stand by and let this crisis continue, and that starts with restricting the money Maduro uses to hold onto power. I hope all of my colleagues will join us as we work to support those fighting for freedom and an end to Maduro’s ruthless regime.”
Senator Jacky Rosen said, “The United States must do more to protect the people of Venezuela from Nicolas Maduro’s oppression. By prohibiting federal agencies from doing business with anyone that supports the violent Maduro regime, we can help alleviate the suffering of innocent civilians. I stand with my colleagues from across the aisle to condemn the Maduro regime’s brutal campaign of oppression, and will continue to advocate for U.S. global leadership and protection of human rights.”
Senator Thom Tillis said, “No federal agency should ever conduct business with anyone that supports Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro or his vile and oppressive regime. This commonsense legislation is necessary to preserve future negations should further restrictions or sanctions be needed. The United States must continue to advocate against brutality and injustice, and this begins with preventing American dollars from aiding Maduro’s regime”
Senator Marco Rubio said, “Amid the man-made crisis caused by narco-dictator Nicolás Maduro and his cronies, we must ensure American federal agencies do not award governmental contracts to any companies linked to the Maduro regime. I’m proud to join Senator Scott, and my colleagues, in introducing this bicameral legislation, which will ensure taxpayer dollars are not providing a lifeline to a murderous and criminal dictatorship in our region.”
The BOLIVAR Act:
- Prohibits federal agencies from awarding U.S. government contracts with companies that are engaged in business with the Maduro regime.
- The prohibition would only apply to contracts entered into on or after the bill’s enactment and would not affect any business with the legitimate elected government of the National Assembly and its elected successors.
- Provides for necessary exceptions, including for rendering humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and when the Office of Foreign Assets Control issues a valid license to do business in Venezuela.
- Allows the Secretary of State to waive the restriction when in the national interest of the U.S.