The minority group’s leader Kevin McCarthy warned President Joe Biden that he faces “a day of reckoning” on Friday over the crisis in Afghanistan and appeared to hint at possible impeachment proceedings after Americans were evacuated from the Taliban-controlled country.
“Look, I’m extremely frustrated with this president,” McCarthy said at a news conference.
He said a president must have “the faith, trust and confidence” of Americans – which Biden said Thursday lost after a devastating attack on the Kabul airport that killed at least 170 people and 13 US troops.
A suicide bombing by ISIS-K near the Abbey Gate checkpoint of Hamid Karzai International Airport has left hundreds dead, injured and the lives of 10 US Marines.
“There will be a day of reckoning and we have a constitutional right,” the Republican legislature threatened.
But for now, McCarthy said the main focus should be on evacuating Americans still stranded in Afghanistan.
McCarthy appeared to hint at future Republican-backed impeachment motions during a press conference on Thursday
“When that day is over, we can pick up on anything — to be accountable for the actions taken, the lies given, the wrong decisions that put Americans at risk, and the decision to leave Americans behind,” he said.
“That choice and that answer should never be made by the President of the United States.”
He also criticized Biden over his August 31 deadline for a full withdrawal — a decision that came despite pleas from fellow heads of state and lawmakers here at home.
“Why would President Biden choose the Taliban over our allies and over Americans?” he wondered.
Republican Rep. Peter Meijer also denounced Biden’s handling of chaos in Afghanistan late Thursday night, urging Congress to reclaim its war power to prevent future crises.
After the deadly explosions at Kabul airport, Meijer posted on Twitter the loss of 13 American servicemen in the ‘horrific attack’ at Kabul airport on Thursday.
Rep. Veteran Peter Meijer offered his condolences to the families of servicemen who died in the deadly explosions at Kabul airport on Thursday, blaming Biden’s “reckless withdrawal”
Afghans lie on beds in hospital after being injured in deadly attacks outside Kabul . airport
The corpse of an Afghan is laid on the ground in a hospital in Kabul on August 27, the day after the explosions
The day after the explosions, Taliban forces continue to block roads around the airport
He said his “heart is absolutely broken” for the families of the fallen troops and their fellow troops.
“Tuesday I saw Marines bravely dealing with chaos at Abbey Gate. Today, the great risk they took to save countless lives was made terribly clear,” Meijer wrote on Twitter, referring to a much-criticized trip he and Rep. Seth Moulton made it to the airport during the evacuation efforts.
“This was a position they shouldn’t have been in, but President Biden’s reckless withdrawal gave them no other choice.”
“Congress must reclaim its authority over war powers to ensure that such a disaster never happens again.”
The constitutional duty to formally declare war belongs to Congress, but the measures taken under the George W. Bush administration expanded the president’s authority to conduct military operations abroad.
Meijer, a veteran, wrote an op-ed with two other lawmakers in May, also calling on Congress to revoke authorizations for the use of military force.
Freshman Representative Madison Cawthorn, an outspoken critic of the Biden administration, went one step further and asked Vice President Kamala Harris to take the “grim cure” by invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Biden from office.
Rep. Peter Meijer (left) and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (right) are just two of lawmakers criticizing Biden for chaos in Afghanistan
A letter from GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn to Vice President Kamala Harris asks her to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Biden from power
Biden vowed retaliation against those responsible for carrying out the Kabul airport attacks in a speech Thursday
“As the person who works most closely with the president, you are also the one who knows best the differences between the perception the West Wing wants to convey and the ugly reality,” he wrote on Wednesday. “I have become increasingly convinced of what you already know, President Biden is no longer able to carry out the duties of his office.”
Under Biden’s supervision, Cawthorn said the US has seen “an undefended frontier,” “rising inflation” and “lost American honor in a dastardly retreat by the Taliban.”
“The crises I mentioned above require a president working at the peak of his cognitive abilities. It now seems clear that this is no longer the case,” he wrote.
For that reason, he asked Harris to “find the courage” to start the process of removing Biden from office.
Harris, who only recently returned to the US after a diplomatic tour of Southeast Asia, released a statement Thursday evening honoring the victims of the deadly attack in Kabul.
“Doug and I mourn the Americans we lost, we pray for the Americans injured in the attack, and our hearts go out to their loved ones. We also mourn the Afghan civilians who have been killed and injured,” the vice president said.
Representative Brian Mast also questioned Biden’s mental capabilities in a CNN interview Thursday night.
Rep. Brian Mast said Biden’s pledge for revenge is ‘as hollow as his head’ in a Thursday CNN interview
US soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division escort evacuees to buses for onward movement during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 25
US Sky Dragon soldiers assist Afghan evacuees at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 24
Asked about Biden’s pledge to hold the attackers at the Kabul airport accountable, the lawmaker said, “his words are as hollow as his heart and head.”
Mast said he was filled with “anger” at the president for his handling of the crisis.
Biden, for his part, vowed retaliation to those responsible in a speech on Thursday.
“To those who carried out this attack, as well as to anyone who wants to harm America, know this: we will not forgive. We won’t forget,” he said.
“We’ll track you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people by whatever measure is at my command.’
But US voters’ confidence that Biden can fulfill his duty in view of his approaching withdrawal deadline is waning.
According to the data aggregator, the president’s approval rating is at an all-time low of 47.2 percent on Friday Thirty-FiveEight.
A majority of respondents to the YouGov poll conducted this week “strongly disapproved” of Biden’s approach to Afghanistan.
In agreement with GOP lawmakers, 77 percent of Republicans expressed strong disapproval — less than 10 percent were not positive at all.