House Republicans pledged to hold the Biden administration accountable for the disastrous situation following the quick exit from Afghanistan as the Freedom Caucus formally demanded President Biden resign.
Biden faced an increasingly dire situation after his call to fully withdraw U.S. military forces from Afghanistan led to a deadly bombing that took the lives of 13 U.S. service members and 170 Afghan citizens. The president stood by his decision, but the withdrawal completed Monday left some 250 Americans stranded in Afghanistan.
To deal with the aftermath of the withdrawal, House Republicans will put forth a bill by Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., that seeks to help the Americans remaining in Afghanistan as well as hold the Biden administration accountable.
“Mike Gallagher’s bill does four simple things,” House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said during a Monday morning press conference. “What is the plan to bring Americans home safely? Not some, but every single American? What about the list of the weaponry that has been left behind, accounting for that?”
The bill also asks that the Taliban not be recognized as the government of Afghanistan and seeks to prohibit any support or assistance to the Taliban.
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“We now have Americans stuck in Afghanistan, the Taliban in charge with more weaponry than they’ve ever had in the past, and a border that is open,” McCarthy added.
Other Republicans that spoke included Gallagher; Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill.; Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.; Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.; Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn.; Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.; Rep. Mike Wallace, R-Fla.; and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.
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Gallagher ripped the Democrats for not supporting the bill, which he claimed sought the same ends the Democrats had recently asked for publicly.
“This is exactly what many Democrats said they wanted,” Gallagher said. “They pushed back on the administration. They begged and pleaded the president to abandon the Taliban’s surrender date.”
“But when the moment of truth came on the House floor, they all voted against it so as not to jeopardize the passage of Bernie Sanders’ budget,” he added.
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Republicans also ripped House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for not being present for either the vote or for a moment of silence for the 13 fallen service members.
“Where is Nancy Pelosi?” Banks asked. “Why isn’t she here? Each and every one of us changed our plans so that we could be here today.”
“We just had a moment of silence on the floor of the House of Representatives for the … American heroes that we lost in Afghanistan,” he continued. “Not a single Democrat joined us on the floor of the House and that moment of silence, and that is a shame, but perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.”
Meanwhile, the conservative Freedom Caucus has formally called for Biden, as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, to resign in the face of an “overwhelming failure” of leadership.
“Mr. President, if you have an ounce of respect for your 50 years of service to this nation, and to move forward toward healing, to unite our nation, to get past this nightmare that you’ve created, then by God, man, resign,” said Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La.
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Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., called on McCarthy to table a motion to “vacate the chair,” so Pelosi could step aside due to “neglect” and being “derelict in her duties.”
“This is a betrayal,” Perry said. “This is a betrayal of their oath. It is a betrayal of their country. It is a betrayal of everything we hold dear.”
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Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., then delivered a fierce rebuke of the Democratic Party and urged them to join their Republican counterparts.
“Make no mistake: Members of the House Freedom Caucus are not standing here today because Nancy Pelosi called for an emergency session of Congress,” Boebert said. “We’re standing here because Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and every person they’ve put in a position of leadership, failed our brave men and women. They failed our brave men and women of the United States military, and they failed the American people.”
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“I would hope that just one Democrat would have the courage to join us, that one Democrat could do more than the so-called commander in chief, who could only look at his watch while moms received the remains of their babies in Dover yesterday.”