The leader of Republicans in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, said that lawmakers should return from the holidays.
The leader of the Republican minority in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, called on the speaker to convene lawmakers for an emergency session to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
“It’s time for Congress to act quickly to save lives,” McCarthy said on Thursday after a terrorist attack near the Kabul airport that killed more than 100 people, including at least 13 American servicemen.
“Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of the withdrawal,” McCarthy added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “should return Congress to the session by August 31 so that the Biden administration fully and comprehensively informs” lawmakers, McCarthy believes.
Now the Congress is on vacation and should return to work only next month.
The Republican congressman from California also said that the House of Representatives should pass a law “prohibiting the withdrawal of American troops until all Americans leave Afghanistan.”
The passage of such a bill in the Democrat-controlled House is unlikely.
Biden said on Thursday evening that he was deeply saddened by the events in Kabul and promised to avenge the terrorist attacks while assuring that evacuation efforts would continue.
The attack was the bloodiest for the U.S. military in Afghanistan since 2011. It occurred just five days before the Biden administration’s deadline for a complete withdrawal of troops from the country.
Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie told reporters that the military expects new attacks.
Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, rejected McCarthy’s call, calling it a distraction, and stressed that the Biden administration had repeatedly informed members of Congress about the situation in Afghanistan.
“What will definitely not help to evacuate American citizens are the senseless antics of the minority leader to distract attention,” Hammill said. “The Biden administration has repeatedly informed Congress about the situation and provides fresh data every day.”
The House of Representatives went on vacation on August 24 and is due to return on September 20.
However, McCarthy is not alone in his position.
“I support the calls of my colleagues to convene an emergency session of Congress,” said Republican Congresswoman Kat Сammak from Florida. – No member of Congress or the administration should be on vacation when the lives of Americans are in danger.”