House Republicans called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to reconvene Congress to vote on a bill that would prevent U.S. troops from leaving Afghanistan until Americans are evacuated from the country, after ISIS killed at least twelve U.S. troops and dozens of Afghans in a terror attack.
The bill, introduced by Representative Mike Gallagher (R., Wisc.) on Monday, would require daily updates on the number of Americans flown out of the Kabul airport.
“Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of Biden’s withdrawal,” Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. “Speaker Pelosi must bring Congress back before Aug 31 so we can…pass Representative Gallagher’s legislation prohibiting the withdrawal of our troops until every American is out of Afghanistan.”
Gallagher echoed McCarthy’s remarks in his own statement.
“This tragedy is the direct result of the failure of this incompetent withdrawal plan, and I fear the worst is still to come,” Gallagher said. “Congress must immediately reconvene & take control of this situation, which has spiraled out of control.”
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill slammed McCarthy in a response on Twitter.
“The Minority Leader wants to defund the mission & tie the Commander in Chief’s hands in the middle of the most dangerous days of the operation,” Hammill wrote. “What’s not going to help evacuate American citizens is more empty stunts & distraction from the Minority Leader who sat idly by as Pres. Trump proudly negotiated with the Taliban. The Biden Administration has repeatedly briefed the Congress & providing frequent updates each day.”
Meanwhile, Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) slammed Pelosi after the Speaker tweeted a statement unrelated to the attacks in Afghanistan.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWEETING ABOUT!?!
CALL US BACK TO SESSION AND LETS VOTE TO DEMAND THIS ADMINISTRATION TAKES ACTION TO SAVE OUR PEOPLE IN AFGHANISTAN. https://t.co/SJd2w7TIlN
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) August 26, 2021
Pelosi put out a statement saying that Congress would continue to receive updates on the situation in Kabul.
“We mourn the loss of every innocent life taken, and we join every American in heartbreak over the deaths of the service members killed,” Pelosi said. “As we work with the Biden Administration to bring stability to the situation, Congress must continue to be kept closely informed, which is why I have requested that the Executive Branch continue to brief Members.”
A number of Republican senators also commented on the attacks. Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) called on Biden to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan until all Americans are evacuated.
“Mr. President, there is a clear choice before you now: Either rip up the August 31 deadline and defend evacuation routes—by expanding the perimeter around the Kabul airport or by retaking Bagram—or leave our people behind in your retreat” Sasse said in a statement. “We simply cannot strand Americans behind enemy lines in the new capital city of global jihad.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said in a statement that the “murderous attack offers the clearest possible reminder that terrorists will not stop fighting the United States just because our politicians grow tired of fighting them.”