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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

My amendment bans cooperative threat reduction funds going to Russia unless the Secretary of Defense, with the Secretary of State, first, can certify that the Russians are no longer supporting the Syrian regime, and, secondly, are not providing Syria, North Korea, or Iran equipment or technology to develop weapons of mass destruction.

This amendment sends a clear message condemning Russian support to Syria and the Assad regime. Since the anti-regime protests in Syria began in March of last year, Syrian security forces have killed well over 10,000 people. Some people say 12,000 people. They have wrongfully imprisoned tens of thousands more.

Russia, unfortunately, has proven repeatedly that they are willing to send technology and weapons to all buyers, including to regimes like Syria that are brutalizing their citizens.

We need to send a clear and consistent message to the Russians and to the rest of the world that the United States will not tolerate or support the oppression that the Syrian Government is inflicting on its people.

How can we continue to send military aid to Russia while they knowingly and deliberately turn around and support the brutal and corrupt Syrian regime?

The U.S. will not tolerate either direct or indirect military assistance to the Assad regime in Syria. We will not support the Russian transfer of weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missile equipment and technology to countries like Syria, Iran, or North Korea.

This amendment begins to put some teeth behind the words of the President and others in Congress on both sides of the aisle who have called for action. This amendment begins to support the seriousness behind our words. We must do everything we can to end the Assad regime's escalating use of indiscriminate violence against its people. Join me in supporting this important amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. LAMBORN. The term that's used for this program is the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. Russia has to cooperate. When they're turning around and supporting regimes like Syria with, we think, $1 billion worth of weapons transfers last year alone, what kind of cooperation is that?

Yes. Originally, 20 years ago, this program had a laudable purpose, but now Russia is doing something that is a bigger threat to our security, I believe. We have to find some way of sending a message to a country that is supporting these brutal regimes. I believe that this is the best way to do it, and I would urge the support of this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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