Leading up to the midterm elections, it’s become imperative that Democrats make zero waves with American voters, many of whom are incensed by Biden’s lack of transparency on the botched withdrawal mission from Afghanistan.
The lack of transparency reached a new level this week when the Biden administration missed a congressional deadline to provide details relating to the Afghanistan evacuation.
Top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Sen. Rob Portman, informed Americans of the missed deadline.
Joe Biden had signed a continuing resolution, approved by Congress, on Sept. 30. The measure required the administration to disclose details of the government’s Afghanistan evacuation and resettlement initiative.
It required the Department of Homeland Security to submit a written report within 60 days detailing how many Afghans are in the U.S. The report is also required to break down how many of the evacuees are at U.S. bases out of the country or holding areas overseas.
But as of Monday, no information had been received.
“The Biden administration was required by law to report to Congress by Nov. 30 on the composition and vetting of the Afghan evacuees — including who actually got on our planes and just how many special immigrant visa holders, and others who helped U.S. forces and our allies over the last 20 years, were left behind. It has failed to do so,” Portman said.
It’s been reported that Congress also wants the number of evacuees who have been labeled as a security concern. It also is looking for the costs of the U.S. evacuation operation.
According to the news outlet, of the 82,000 U.S. arrivals from Afghanistan, 4,920 were U.S. citizens, 3,280 were lawful permanent residents, and the remaining 73,800 were Afghan nationals.
In October, Senate Republicans wrote to top Biden administration officials asking for clarification about refugee resettlement procedures after Reuters reported that hundreds of Afghan evacuees had left U.S. bases without receiving resettlement services.
A group of more than one dozen Republican senators, which was organized by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, wrote in the letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that the procedures for vetting evacuees “remain unclear and incomplete, and, unless changed, are insufficient to preserve the safety of the American homeland.”
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Author: Elizabeth Tierney