House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) repeated his call on Wednesday that Gen. Stanley McChrystal appear before lawmakers to deliver a status report about the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
Boehner said the primary goal was to help Congress determine whether to authorize additional troop deployments to the war-torn state.
“With all the attention there is on health care, the attention that needs to be paid to what is happening in Afghanistan, isn’t happening," Boehner said during Wednesday's press briefing.
He added: "[B]oth the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee and the Ranking Republican, myself, Senator McConnell, Senator McCain and others have requested that General McChrystal come to the Capitol and brief the Congress about what is the situation on the ground in Afghanistan."
The proposed hearing is probably the only point of agreement in a debate that reached a new intensity this week, after The Washington Post revealed a report from the general that predicted "failure" unless the United States deployed more troops. The Obama administration has since tried to downplay the previously classified memo, asserting it is still developing its new Afghan strategy. But the report has angered lawmakers in both parties, who said they did not know of its existence until it was leaked.
The Pentagon, meanwhile, announced on Wednesday that Gen. McChrystal might submit a troop needs estimate by the week's end.
Boehner is among a number of Republicans who have hit Democrats recently for not supporting the proposed troop surge. But during Wednesday's press briefing, he at least seemed to share his counterparts' frustration with the White House's lack of clarity on the matter.
"What strategy does he believe is going to be necessary in order to secure Afghanistan so that we deny the Taliban and al Qaeda a safe haven from which to train, operate and organize to come after Americans again?" Boehner asked. "And so, we need General McChrystal up here as soon as possible to help members understand— I think the President ought to take his request as soon as possible.”