Republicans AND Democrats plead with Biden to extend August 31 Afghanistan withdrawal deadline to get all Americans and Afghan allies out as ‘suicide bomb’ kills 13 at Kabul airport
- The House Problem Solvers Caucus issued a letter saying it was clear the deadline is insufficient “to evacuate all US citizens and our partners”
- Biden has kept to the date even though the Pentagon has prepared contingency options
- An explosion shook the area outside the airport in Kabul . on Thursday
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) has voiced her concerns directly to Biden, as has Rep. Mikie Sherrill (DN.Y.)
A group representing dozens of House Republicans and Democrats has sent a letter pleading with President Joe Biden to extend the August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of US troops and allies from Afghanistan.
The House Problem Solvers Causes made clear their concerns about the current trajectory in a letter to the president, which they issued before an explosion just outside the gates of the airport in Kabul.
The group, which has 58 members, says the letter was supported by three-quarters of its members.
“As Democrats and Republicans, we are united in our commitment to protecting American citizens, diplomats, intelligence officers and our foreign partners who are currently trying to flee Afghanistan,” they wrote.
Lawmakers from both sides urge President Joe Biden to extend troop withdrawal deadline as a reported ‘suicide bomber’ carried out an attack outside the airport in Kabul
“At this time of tremendous danger, politics must be put aside to achieve our common goals,” she added.
The letter said it was “clear” from the government’s latest briefing to lawmakers “that the government’s planned departure date from Afghanistan on August 31 does not provide enough time to evacuate all U.S. citizens and our partners.” We respectfully call on the administration to reconsider its timeline and provide Congress with a clear plan that will result in the achievement of our shared national goals,” they wrote.
Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) brought the statement to the group’s vote.
Members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus urged Biden to extend the August 31 deadline
Two separate explosions shook Kabul with at least 13 casualties, including children and three US soldiers among the wounded, just hours after warnings of an ‘imminent’ and ‘deadly’ ISIS terror attack
The government had warned of the potential for terror attacks as Biden adheres to the scheduled August 31 deadline. Americans have been warned to stay away from the airport
The letter comes after another legislator, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former senior Pentagon official, said she raised her concerns directly with President Biden.
“I have expressed my concern about the August 31 deadline, the importance of ensuring that both Americans and Afghans who have worked for us can get through Taliban checkpoints until December 31, and my concern about what is happening in the days and months after we leave,” she tweeted after visiting the White House on Wednesday to sign the bill. “We didn’t always agree, but the president clearly has Afghanistan in mind, and I appreciated the opportunity to voice my opinion on the way forward,” she wrote.
The House Problem Solvers Caucus Writes Biden About Approaching Deadline
A spokesperson for Rep. Mikie Sherrill (DN.Y.) also said “candid talk” with Biden.
“The chairman and [Sherrill] had a frank conversation about their respective concerns about the matter and she appreciates the time he took to listen to her,” said a spokesman for Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot. Fox news reported.
It was not immediately clear how the massacre outside the airport in Kabul after the explosion outside the airport would affect pressure to extend the deadline. Biden and top officials cited the risk of a terror attack as one of the top reasons for meeting the withdrawal deadline, despite the difficulty in applying for special visas from the country for Americans and Afghans.