Cotton leads Senate GOP push on Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal

Their demand is the latest example of continued Republican pressure on Biden for his handling of the military exit from Afghanistan, a push that intensified after 13 soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack last week. And while the GOP’s questions are particularly clear, a handful of Senate Democrats, including Mark Kelly of Arizona and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, have relied on Biden to continue evacuations after the August 31 withdrawal.

Thursday’s Republican letter was about how many Americans are still in Afghanistan and how many of them want to leave. In addition, the GOP senators asked similar questions about green card holders and special immigrant visa applicants who were helping US operations in Afghanistan. A majority of SIV applicants have been left behind in Afghanistan due to the complexity of the final days of the withdrawal, according to a State Department official.

Another major concern of the GOP: screening people who evacuated the United States from Afghanistan who are not citizens, SIVs, or green card holders. In their letter, Senators asked Biden how many evacuees “had no pending immigration application or status with the United States before they were blown up?”

The Republicans proposing are a mixed bunch representing more than half of the conference, from hawks like Cotton to non-interventionist Republicans like Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo ). This includes moderate Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), who worked with Biden on some domestic political priorities, and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) Who oppose the opposition. led Biden’s agenda.

Republicans, acknowledging their own political differences, wrote to Biden that “the signatories of this letter may have different opinions about whether the United States should have maintained a military presence in Afghanistan, but we all agree that it is arbitrary and poorly planned Method by which your withdrawal from Afghanistan caused this crisis. “

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