Ellison cheers decision to nix Russian helicopter purchases for Afghanistan
November 18, 2013 — 11:16am
Opposition by U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and bipartisan swath of Congress to Defense Department dealings with the Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport helped block the purchase of helicopters bound for Afghanistan’s national security forces.
Ellison’s office on Monday hailed last week’s Pentagon decision to cancel the purchase of 15 additional Russian-built Mi-17 helicopters from Rosoboronexport, which has supplied Syrian President Bashar Assad's military forces.
The cargo helicopters were to be purchased next year. Both Minnesota Democrats were both on a congressional letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in July questioning the deal because of the agency’s ties to the Assad regime.
Rep. Tara Mack, R-Apple Valley, wrote a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday calling on him to halt an election that began Monday in which independent childcare providers are deciding whether to form a union.
Rep. John Kline, Republican serving his final year in Congress after 14 years, criticized the Obama Administration's handling of foreign military crises, elaborated on his recent presidential endorsement of Sen. Marco Rubio and visibly worried over the state of the Minnesota Republican Party and its chances of retaining his seat in the Republican fold.