[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 102 (Friday, June 24, 2016)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E989]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          PERSONAL EXPLANATION


                          HON. JOHN K. DELANEY

                              of maryland

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, June 24, 2016

  Mr. DELANEY. Mr. Speaker, on June 16, 2016 the House voted on 26 
amendments to H.R. 5293, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 
for Fiscal Year 2017. Congressman Conyers offered an amendment, roll 
call vote number 327, to block funds from being used to transfer or 
authorize the transfer of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia. Amendment 
votes are taken in quick succession, with two minutes allowed for each. 
I mistakenly voted NO when I meant to vote AYE on Mr. Conyers' 
   Saudi Arabia is a U.S. ally in the Middle East, supporting our 
counterterrorism efforts in the region. As with many allies, the United 
States enters into agreements to sell military equipment to help 
achieve mutual goals. Included in the sale with Saudi Arabia were 
cluster munitions. Alarmingly, Saudi Arabia has used cluster munitions 
contrary to U.S. law which prohibits the use of this weapon in 
populated areas and those that have a failure rate of above 1 percent.
   Cluster munitions contain multiple, explosive submunitions that are 
released mid-air and spread out, making targeting a specific location 
difficult and may put civilians in harm's way. The weapon is designed 
to kill enemy personnel and destroy their transportation and 
infrastructure. When used improperly, the cluster munitions are a 
danger to innocent civilians. Additionally, unpredictable landings and 
explosive remnants can put civilians in danger long after the violence 
had ended. This is a human rights issue.
   President Obama recently blocked the sale of cluster munitions to 
Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen amid reports by human rights 
organizations that have documented killing and wounding of civilians in 
violation of U.S. law. I support the President's decision to halt the 
sale of these dangerous weapons and support Congressman Conyers' 
amendment to prevent the sale of cluster munitions in the Department of 
Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2017.