House Republicans demanded a vote Tuesday on legislation that would keep US troops in Afghanistan until all Americans were rescued, a day after the Pentagon announced the last soldier had flown out of the Kabul airport.
About 20, including veterans of the Afghan war, attended a short House session during the chamber’s summer recess in a failed attempt to pass a bill that would delay the withdrawal.
Afterward, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said the bill would ensure that a Taliban government was not recognized and there was a plan to rescue as many as 200 Americans who were left behind, according to the State Department.
“Never in my life would I ever believe that America would have a government, knowingly, making a decision to leave Americans behind,” he said.
“Speaker Pelosi was not the time to pretend you couldn’t see us on the floor. This was not the time to hide.
‘We were an equal industry. Now is the time for leadership in Congress, and we will lead.”
House Republicans, led by Kevin McCarthy, demand that US troops remain in Afghanistan until all remaining Americans are rescued
US Army Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, boards a C-17 transport plane as the last US soldier to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul shortly after midnight local time
President Joe Biden will thank military commanders and military personnel for his first comments since the US withdrew from Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon, but he is under pressure to explain how the withdrawal has been handled
At the same time, he is under pressure from the Freedom Caucus and his own party’s right to demand the impeachment of President Joe Biden.
As a sign of the risks to people left behind in Afghanistan, Taliban soldiers held mock funerals for Western troops to celebrate the final withdrawal of foreign troops.
The five-minute pro forma House session includes a moment of silence for the 13 servicemen who died in the suicide bombing in Kabul last Thursday.
The House was then adjourned, much to the ire of Republicans who wanted to vote on rep. Mike Gallagher’s bill to delay the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
It would have banned the troop reduction until all Americans and green card holders were evacuated unless they faced “imminent hostilities.”
A day earlier, Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted that American citizens had been left behind in Afghanistan.
“We think there are still a small number of Americans – under 200 and probably closer to 100 – who remain in Afghanistan and want to leave,” he said.
Negotiations are underway with other countries to develop a way out of Afghanistan, President Biden said in a statement.
“I have asked the Secretary of State to lead ongoing coordination with our international partners to ensure safe passage for all Americans, Afghan partners and foreigners seeking to leave Afghanistan,” he said.
The president is expected to return to the theme when making comments on Tuesday afternoon.
But Republicans have kept a steady stream of angry criticism over the decision to stick to a random timeline when Americans remain in danger.
“It’s time for Congress to act because the government is screwing up this withdrawal,” Gallagher said.
“This is a matter of life and death. We don’t leave our people behind.’
Taliban special forces fighters arrive at Hamid Karzai International Airport after US military withdrawal
The House won’t meet until Sept. 20, and Pelosi’s office said the bill would resemble “the tying of the hands of the commander in chief.”
“President Biden ended the longest war in US history, while minority leader McCarthy spent the week self-promoting the safety of US soldiers who risked their lives to evacuate more than 120,000 from a war zone,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement. a statement. The hill.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus held their own press conference to demand the impeachment of Biden.
“Blame starts at the top with Biden and his hand-picked vice president, who bragged that she was there and made the same bad decisions,” Representative Lauren Boebert said.
“If it wasn’t for her own dereliction of duty, she should be impeached for not demanding that we invoke the 25th Amendment.
‘It’s time for action: impeach Biden, impeach Kamala Harris’
The caucus last week outlined a strategy on whether or not to call for impeachment, according to Politics.
With Republicans outnumbered in the House and with Vice President Kamala Harris next to the White House, some had reservations.
But one source said, “Doing nothing is not an option right now.”