The administration of President Joe Biden sent Congress an urgent request for $6.4 billion to pay for the resettlement of 95,000 Afghan refugees expected to arrive in the country in the coming months.
The money would be applied to select and resettle Afghans who aided U.S. forces and were evacuated from Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover, according to Forbes Sept. 7.
In this regard, Office of Management and Budget acting director Shalanda Young expects the continuing resolution (CR) to be approved by Sept. 30, the last day of the current fiscal year,
If passed, it would use $2.4 billion to fund bases where Afghans are screened, $1.3 billion for resettlement operations, $1.7 billion for benefits and services, and $193 million to expedite the application process for permanent resident status.
“The request for more funding for Afghanistan refugees will likely spark political controversy given that some Democrats and many Republicans have criticized Biden handling of the evacuation,” believes experienced Daily Mail political reporter Emily Goodin.
In this light, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee summoned Secretary of State Antony Blinken to testify on the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The hearing to “examine the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan” will take place on September 14 and be chaired by Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).
“I am disappointed that the Biden administration clearly did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid U.S. withdrawal,” Menendez said.
Menendez said his committee would “will seek a full accounting for these shortcomings as well as assess why the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces collapsed so quickly,” and will review previous years’ policies regarding Afghanistan.
For his part, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that the Biden administration failed to get the situation in Afghanistan under control and that U.S. forces should return to the country and “crush” the Taliban.
“I hope we get these folks out. I hope they will bring the airpower. They should go crush these Taliban who are surrounding Kabul. We can do it with American airpower,” Pompeo said to ‘Fox News Sunday’ host Mike Wallace.
He added: “We should put pressure on them. We should inflict cost and pain on them. We shouldn’t be begging them to spare the lives of Americans. We should be imposing costs on the Taliban until they allow us to execute our plan in Afghanistan.”
Pompeo’s words become more salient now, as Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) painted an ominous picture for Americans in Afghanistan by saying that the Taliban will not let them leave without certain conditions being met.
McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, revealed that at least six planes carrying U.S. citizens and Afghans evacuated at Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif airport were being held by the Taliban.
“The Taliban are holding them hostage in exchange for demands right now,” McCaul told Fox News.