R. Scott, Hawley Seeks Bipartisan Select Committee To Investigate Afghanistan Withdrawal

R. Scott, Hawley Seeks Bipartisan Select Committee To Investigate Afghanistan Withdrawal

Senate GOP seeks bipartisan panel to investigate chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal

Mona Salama
Mona Salama
|
October 5, 2021

Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a resolution Tuesday to establish a bipartisan select committee aimed at conducting a full investigation and compile a report on President Biden’s “misguided and dangerous decisions” over his botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Last month, President Biden’s misguided and dangerous decisions in his botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan led to the United States’ most stunning, unforced and humiliating defeat in decades,” Scott said in a statement announcing the resolution. “Due to President Biden’s carelessness and failed leadership, 13 U.S. service members were lost, billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment was left for the Taliban, hundreds of American citizens were stranded behind enemy lines, and Afghanistan has been returned to the Taliban and now rests in the hands of the same terrorist-coddling extremists who ruled it on September 11, 2001. The world is now a more dangerous place, and the American people are rightfully demanding answers.”

The “Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan Act of 2021” would be composed of 12 lawmakers on both sides of the aisles, with House and Senate leadership each selecting three members. The members will conduct an “investigation and submit to Congress a report” on certain elements, including “Biden’s failed and tragic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans behind enemy lines, left billions of dollars in U.S. military equipment in the hands of terrorists and took the lives of 13 brave U.S. service members.”

Five other Republicans are Co-sponsors of the bill, including Sens. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Steve Daines of Montana, and Mike Braun of Indiana. While the resolution aims to establish a bipartisan committee, no Democrat Senators have joined their GOP colleagues signing on as co-sponsors.

The proposal for the select committee follows a series of congressional hearings featuring testimonies by  Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Biden’s top military leaders, including Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command who oversaw the withdrawal, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The hearings takeaways barely offered any new insights on the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal and the rapid collapse of Kabul into Taliban hands, with Republicans believe the Biden administration is continuing to “obscure the facts” surrounding the botched withdrawal.

Scott said since last month, he asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to “put partisan politics aside” and called for the “launch of a bicameral, bipartisan investigation,” but the Democratic leadership “have been silent.”

“For over a month, I have called on Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to launch a bipartisan and bicameral investigation into the Biden administration’s failed withdrawal of American forces. They’ve been shamefully silent. That’s why today, I am introducing a resolution to establish a bipartisan and bicameral Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan to conduct a full investigation and compile a joint report on the United States tragically failed withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s time to put partisan politics aside and demand accountability,” Scott said.

According to Scott, the bipartisan select committee investigating the Afghanistan botched withdrawal would follow the “precedent set in the aftermath of the Iran-Contra affair,” according to Scott.

Mona Salama

Mona Salama

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