Senate GOP seeks bipartisan panel to investigate Afghanistan withdrawal

Senate GOP seeks bipartisan panel to investigate Afghanistan withdrawal
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans on Tuesday introduced legislation aimed at investigating the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, seeking answers on the chaotic and fatal end to America’s longest war.

The effort is being led by Senators Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyMissouri Senate candidate says Congress members should go to jail if guilty of insider trading On The Money — Ban on stock trading for Congress gains steam The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (R-Mo.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and would create a bipartisan select committee composed of members of the House and Senate.

Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has been one of the loudest critics of the administration’s withdrawal.

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The senator has threatened to block Pentagon and State Department nominees over demands for the resignation of national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanWhite House says Russia could launch attack in Ukraine 'at any point' Blinken stresses 'unshakable' US commitment to Ukraine in call with Russian counterpart Texas hostage-taker was known to British security officials MORE and Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenDemocrats calls on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden clarifies any Russian movement into Ukraine 'is an invasion' Blinken calls for 'global action' against Russia amid Ukraine tensions MORE.

While an estimated 125,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan amid the fall of the Western-backed government and a Taliban takeover, a firm U.S. exit deadline left thousands of priority evacuees stranded.

This included nearly a hundred American citizens and thousands of Afghans who aided the 20-year U.S. and international presence in the country.

A terrorist attack on Kabul’s main international airport days before the exit deadline in August killed 13 U.S. service members and dozens of Afghans and underscored the chaos and violence of the country. 

“The Biden Administration has purposefully obscured the facts around their botched Afghanistan withdrawal that killed 13 American service members and left hundreds of Americans stranded behind enemy lines,” Hawley said in a statement.

“The American people deserve answers and the Biden administration seems determined to prevent us from getting them. We need a select committee investigation and public hearings to get to the bottom of this debacle and hold officials accountable.”

Co-sponsors of the bill include Sens. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerBiden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation Senators to meet with Ukraine president to reaffirm US support MORE (R-N.D.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Eight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform MORE (R-N.C.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstSwalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down Alabama GOP gears up for fierce Senate primary clash Biden's court picks face fierce GOP opposition MORE (R-Iowa), Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesHillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two Senate Judiciary Committee to debate key antitrust bill Overnight Defense & National Security — No punishments in botched Kabul drone strike MORE (R-Mont.), and Mike BraunMichael BraunThe Memo: Supreme Court, Sinema deliver twin blows to Biden How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks MORE (R-Ind.). While the legislation aims for a bipartisan select committee, Democratic lawmakers have yet to sign on.