House approves bill to curb antiquities looting by militants

Congress is sending a bill to President Barack Obama that cracks down on the looting of Syrian antiquities by Islamic State militants.

By voice vote Tuesday, the House passed legislation that prevents cultural artifacts removed from Syria from being sold or imported into the United States.

Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, a sponsor of the bill, says the militants have pocketed millions of dollars by selling irreplaceable artifacts on the black market. He also says the ransacking wipes away Middle East history.

The Senate passed the bill earlier this month.

Engel is the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The committee's chairman, Rep. Ed Royce of California, also backed the bill. He says cutting off the Islamic State's financial sources is key to defeating the militant group.