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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. DeLAURO. I rise in support of this amendment. It includes my amendment, prohibiting the Defense Department from purchasing helicopters, directly or indirectly, for the Afghan security forces from any entity controlled, directed, or influenced by Russia, any other state that provides weapons to Syria, or other state sponsors of terrorism. It also requires that any such future contract be competitively bid.

The U.N. estimates more than 9,000 people in Syria have been killed by the Assad regime since violence began there. And the Russian state arms dealer Rosoboronexport continues to provide that regime with the means to perpetrate widespread and systematic attacks on its civilians, including signing a deal with Damascus in January to supply Syria with 36 combat jets.

Incredibly, the Defense Department is purchasing 21 Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan security forces through a no-bid contract with that Russian company, even though it supplies arms to Syria and it was, for years, on the U.S. sanctions list for providing illegal nuclear assistance to Iran.

If U.S. taxpayer dollars are going to be spent providing helicopters to the Afghans, those dollars should be spent on American systems that create jobs here at home.


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