Republicans AND Democrats plead with Biden to extend August 31 Afghanistan pullout deadline to get all Americans and Afghan allies out as ‘suicide attack’ kills 13 at Kabul airport
- The House Problem Solvers Caucus issued a letter saying it was apparent the deadline is insufficient ‘to evacuate all American citizens and our partners’
- Biden has stood by the date, although the Pentagon has prepared contingency options
- An explosion rocked the area outside the airport in Kabul Thursday
- Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) raised her concerns directly with Biden, as did Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.Y.)
A group representing dozens of House Republicans and Democrats issued a letter pleading with President Joe Biden to extend an August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and allies from Afghanistan.
The House Problem Solvers Causes made plain their concerns with 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 backed by three-quarters of its members.
‘As Democrats and Republicans, we stand united in our commitment to protecting U.S. citizens, diplomats, intelligence officers, and our foreign partners who are currently attempting to flee Afghanistan,’ they wrote.
Lawmakers from both parties are pushing President Joe Biden to extend a troop withdrawal deadline, as a reported ‘suicide bomber’ carried out an attack outside the airport in Kabul
‘In this time of tremendous danger, politics must be put aside to advance our common goals,’ they added.
The letter said it was ‘apparent’ from the administration’s latest briefing for lawmakers ‘that the Administration’s set date for departure from Afghanistan on August 31st does not provide enough time to evacuate all American citizens and our partners. We respectfully call on the Administration to reconsider its timeline and provide a clear plan to Congress that will result in the completion of our shared national objectives.,’ they wrote.
Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) brought up the statement to a vote by the group.
Members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus urged Biden to extend the August 31 deadline
Two separate explosions have rocked Kabul with at least 13 casualties including children and three US soldiers among the wounded just hours after warnings of an ‘imminent’ and ‘lethal’ ISIS terror attack
The administration had warned of the potential for terror attacks while Biden stands by the planned August 31 deadline. Americans have been warned to stay away from the airport
The letter comes after another lawmakers, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a former high-level Pentagon official, said she raised concerns directly with President Biden.
‘I raised my concerns with the August 31st deadline, the importance of ensuring that both Americans and Afghans who worked on our behalf be able to get through Taliban checkpoints up until the 31st, and my concerns about what happens in the days and months after we depart,’ she tweeted after visiting the White House for a bill-signing Wednesday. ‘We did not always agree, but the President clearly has Afghanistan at top of mind, and I appreciated the chance to express my thoughts on the way forward,’ she wrote.
The House Problem Solvers Caucus write Biden about the looming deadline
A spokesman for Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.Y.) also said “frank conversation” with Biden.
“The President and [Sherrill] had a frank conversation about their respective concerns on the issue and she appreciates the time he provided to listen to her views,” said a spokesman for Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot, Fox News reported.
It was not immediately clear how the carnage outside the airport in Kabul after the explosion outside the airport would impact the push to extend the deadline. Biden and top administration officials cited the risk of a terror attack as a prime reason for sticking to the pullout deadline, despite the difficulty getting Americans and Afghanis applying for special visas out of the country.