House and Senate Democrats are watching President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan with unease, distancing themselves with some Americans left behind in the war-torn country and as Republicans plot to make the issue a major focus heading into the 2022 midterms.
In the wake of Biden’s assurances that no American would be stranded before troops left, and his miscalculation over the power of the Taliban to quickly take over the Afghan government, an array of Democrats are faulting his administration’s handling of the situation and are saying they need answers about the deadly end to the US’ longest war.
The issue is bound to come to a head on Wednesday when the House Armed Services Committee votes on a major defense bill that is certain to become ground zero for debate over the Biden administration’s Afghanistan policy. Republicans are preparing to offer an onslaught of amendments touching on everything from funding for the Taliban to the American citizens left behind, which could put some of the committee’s most vulnerable Democrats in a tough spot.
“Leaving any American citizen behind is unacceptable, and I will keep pushing this administration to do everything in its power to get our people out,” said Sen. Mark Kelly, an Arizona Democrat.
Hassan, who faces a difficult reelection, told WMUR last week that there have been “real miscalculations” by Biden’s foreign policy team, saying there shouldn’t be “artificial timelines” set for the withdrawal.