House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader Scaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' MORE (R-Ohio):

“Succeeding in Afghanistan – and preventing al Qaeda and the Taliban from using the country as a safe haven from which to launch attacks on the U.S. and our allies – is critically important to the safety and security of our country. While the conditions remain difficult, the counterinsurgency strategy implemented by General Petraeus has made significant improvements in security on the ground and allowed the Afghan government to start making progress in meeting the needs of the Afghan people. We all want to bring our troops home as quickly as possible, but we must ensure that the gains we’ve made are not jeopardized.

I am pleased the President recognizes that success in Afghanistan is paramount. Continuing to degrade al Qaeda’s capabilities in Afghanistan and the surrounding region must take priority over any calendar dates. It’s important that we retain the flexibility necessary to reconsider troop levels and respond to changes in the security environment should circumstances on the ground warrant. It is my hope that the President will continue to listen to our commanders on the ground as we move forward. Congress will hold the Administration accountable for ensuring that the pace and scope of the drawdown does not undermine the progress we’ve made thus far.

There is no doubt this conflict has tested the resolve of our nation, and I want to express gratitude to the American people for their faithful commitment to our troops and their mission. As this operation enters its next phase, it is imperative that our Commander-in-Chief continues to explain why seeing it through to a successful conclusion is vital to our national interests. Lastly, I want to reiterate how much we appreciate the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform, our diplomats, and their families are making every day. We can never forget their service to our country.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.):


“Tonight, President Obama made it clear: we are now beginning the process of bringing our troops home and ending the war in Afghanistan. It has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out – and we will continue to press for a better outcome. Concluding this war will enable us to reduce the deficit and focus fuller attention on the priorities of the American people: creating jobs and investing in our nation’s future by building a strong, thriving economy for our children.

Congress will continue to perform the oversight responsibilities critical to ensuring a successful withdrawal as soon as possible. We will maintain our commitment and gratitude to our men and women in uniform and their families, who have done everything asked of them with courage and patriotism.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.):

“For almost a decade, American troops have served bravely in Afghanistan. Their efforts have helped lead to the death of Osama bin Laden and the destruction, to a great degree, of al-Qaeda’s capability to plan and launch attacks against Americans from Afghanistan. These were our original objectives in Afghanistan, and they have been largely achieved. Our struggle against terrorists who would do Americans harm is certainly not over. But now is a time to consider how the threats against Americans have changed, and how we can most effectively defeat the terrorists behind those threats. That’s why this matter needs to be under continuing review as we work toward the Afghan people and government taking responsibility for their nation’s security and stability. It is crucial that we fight global terrorism both smarter and harder, and I will continue to advocate for an Afghanistan policy that helps us do so.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBarr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks Harry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info MORE (D-Nev.):

“The President’s plan to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is a critical step in the right direction. I commend the many brave members of our Armed Forces who have served there and thank them for their sacrifice. I look forward to the day when all of our courageous fighting men and women are safely home. Under the President’s leadership we have made substantial progress toward achieving many of our major strategic goals in the region, including bringing Osama bin Laden to justice and significantly weakening al Qaeda’s terrorist capabilities.

We have also helped put the Afghan government in a position to begin to take responsibility for its own security in a growing number of key areas. As we withdraw our troops, the Afghans must continue to step up and take responsibility for their own country. In the meantime, we must capitalize on the progress we’ve made in Afghanistan to finish the job and ensure al Qaeda’s long-term, strategic defeat. The President’s plan will allow us to do that, while beginning the important transfer of security and governance responsibilities to the Afghan people.”

Senate Majority Whip Richard DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Bipartisan group of senators urges FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately MORE (D-Ill.):

“The President’s announcement that we will withdraw 30,000 of our 100,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer is a step towards the end of this long war. We invaded Afghanistan to end al Qaeda and with the killing of Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, we have accomplished our goal. Over the coming months, I’ll continue to press for a swift and substantial withdrawal of our combat forces from Afghanistan. Ten years, hundreds of billions of dollars and the loss of over 1,600 American service members later, it’s time for our fighting men and women to come home.”

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAmerica's newest comedy troupe: House GOP Michelle Malkin knocks Cokie Roberts shortly after her death: 'One of the first guilty culprits of fake news' Arizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema MORE (R-Ariz.):


“I am concerned that the withdrawal plan that President Obama announced tonight poses an unnecessary risk to the hard-won gains that our troops have made thus far in Afghanistan and to the decisive progress that must still be made. This is not the ‘modest’ withdrawal that I and others had hoped for and advocated.”

Though we have been fighting in Afghanistan for a decade, it has only been in the past 18 months that we have had the right leadership, the right strategy, and the right level of resources. As a result, our brave men and women in uniform are taking strategically important territory away from the enemy. They are decimating Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And they are training Afghan security forces that are increasingly capable of leading this fight on their own. President Obama deserves a lot of credit for our recent progress in Afghanistan, but as our military commanders have repeatedly said, this progress remains fragile.

Though I disagree with the President’s withdrawal plan, I nonetheless believe that America’s interests in Afghanistan are far too important for us to give up the fight and walk away, as many in Congress and elsewhere now advocate. I know that Americans are war-weary and fed up with our unsustainable national debt. But what our country can least afford is the cost of failure in Afghanistan. It remains a vital national interest for the United States to succeed.”