House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is calling upon House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to interrupt the current recess for a special session where members can act on the crisis in Afghanistan.
Pelosi this week brought members back to Washington so they could move forward a $3.5 trillion amalgamation of progressive Democrats’ spending priorities, then sent members back home until the current recess ends on Sept. 20, according to The Hill.
McCarthy said the deaths of 13 U.S. troops in Kabul amid the carnage of a terrorist attack that left at least 169 people dead meant Pelosi needs to change her vacation plans.
“It is time for Congress to act quickly to save lives. Speaker Pelosi must bring Congress back into session before August 31 so that we can be briefed thoroughly and comprehensively by the Biden Administration and pass Representative Gallagher’s legislation prohibiting the withdrawal of our troops until every American is out of Afghanistan,” McCarthy said in a statement.
On Friday, during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” McCarthy said the Democratic leadership in Washington needs to act, and Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher’s bill is a place to start.
“Not only are we less safe there, we’re less safe in America today. As you’ve reported, [President Joe Biden] has opened our border. Long before this collapse in Afghanistan, we have been catching people on the terrorist watch list coming across our border from Yemen. Not on the same day either,” McCarthy said.
“What’s going to happen now where we’re watching ISIS grow again in Afghanistan, when 5,000 prisoners were released inside Afghanistan, when they now know where they can come to America?” he said.
“We’re less than three weeks from the anniversary of the 9/11, and this administration has put America in this position, this is unacceptable.
Nancy Pelosi needs to bring us back into session, bring up this bill, move this deadline and make sure every single American is able to leave Afghanistan.”
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill criticized McCarthy for insisting Congress be in session amid the Afghanistan crisis, saying that efforts to bring the House into session amounted to “empty stunts & distraction.”
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.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) August 26, 2021
Gallagher’s bill was kicked aside by the Democrats who control the House. He said Democrats were wrong to focus on their spending wish lists instead of the safety of Americans, according to Fox News.
“We had an opportunity yesterday … to pass bipartisan legislation that would simply require the administration to report to us every day on how many Americans are still there and how many of our Afghan allies are seeking refuge and prohibit them from withdrawing on a fixed timeline until we get everybody out that wants to get out,” Gallagher said.
” And instead of supporting that, every Democrat voted against it. They did that because they didn’t want to endanger the $5 trillion monstrosity, the Bernie budget, that Speaker Pelosi has been focused on forcing through Congress on a purely party-line vote.
“So they’ve revealed their priorities. Rather than saving Americans, they’re focused on this absolute progressive blowout budget, which will be damaging to America. It’s one of the most shameful things I’ve seen in my entire five years in Congress.”
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