Blinken to appear at House hearing on Afghanistan next week

Blinken to appear at House hearing on Afghanistan next week
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Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenPentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability US should call out Nigeria's horrendous religious freedom record Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns MORE will appear before lawmakers on Monday to answer questions about the State Department’s role in the evacuation of Afghanistan.  

The hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee will kick off what is likely to be a number of hearings about the administration’s handling of the end of the United States' longest war. 

The State Department has yet to release a number of details about its planning for the withdrawal or offer a full accounting of the 124,000 people the U.S. evacuated.

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Committee Chairman Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksUS faces daunting task in relationship with Haiti Overnight Defense & National Security — China steps up saber rattling White House puts China on notice MORE (D-N.Y.) in mid-August requested Blinken as well as Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security — Marine who criticized Afghanistan withdrawal sentenced Air Force general becomes second woman to head US military command Military judge blasts Marine Corps's handling of officer who criticized Afghanistan withdrawal MORE appear before the committee.

“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly changing and it is imperative that the administration provide the American people and Congress transparency about its Afghanistan strategy,” he said at the time.

Blinken is likely to face sharp questioning from both sides of the aisle, particularly from members who had been urging the State Department to speed processing of Special Immigrant Visa applications for those who assisted the U.S. military.

“The security and humanitarian disaster unfolding was avoidable, and it was caused in large part by the acts, omissions, and delays from the State Department which you lead,” the committee's ranking member, Rep. Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulPentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability Mike Siegel: Potential McConaughey candidacy a 'sideshow' in Texas governor race Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' MORE (R-Texas), wrote in an Aug. 20 letter to Blinken asking the State Department to turn over a number of documents. 

“Questionable decisions at the State Department have compounded the problems we now face.”  

Blinken is also slated to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.