Congressman Cohen’s Amendments to Stem Foreign Corruption and Recover Afghan Aircraft Pass the House

September 23, 2021
Press Release
Will be included in National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today applauded House passage of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that included his amendments to stem foreign corruption and requiring the Secretary of Defense to attempt to recover aircraft supplied by the United States that Afghan pilots flew out of the country as the Taliban took over last month.

The measures were passed by a voice vote. A vote on the entire NDAA is expected later today.

On Wednesday, Congressman Cohen spoke from the House floor about his amendments. In those remarks he said in part:

“The first [amendment] puts anti-corruption at the core of U.S. foreign policy, reflecting the Biden Administration’s declaration that corruption is a national security threat – as indeed it is. As the House Co-Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Helsinki Commission, bipartisan foreign policy to promote human rights and counter corruption is deeply important to our group, and to the nation. Corruption is the fuel of human rights abuse and dictatorship and is the primary means by which dictators and their cronies influence government and society. I want to thank the large group of bipartisan colleagues who supported this amendment, many of whom are members of the Counter-Kleptocracy Caucus. Special thanks to Representatives [Tom] Malinowski and [Maria] Salazar whose Combatting Global Corruption Act is also included in the amendment.

“The other amendment would require the Secretary of Defense to attempt to recover Afghan aircraft that the U.S. provided to the Afghan government and were flown out of the country by Afghan pilots fleeing the Taliban. These aircraft were purchased by U.S. tax dollars and should be returned to us. They are in Uzbekistan and other countries and I’m sure the Taliban would like to get them back, but they should come back to the U.S.A.”

See Congressman Cohen’s entire speech here.