House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday slammed President Biden’s military withdrawal from Afghanistan as a “partisan, political decision designed for a photo-op” ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“There are hundreds and could be thousands of Americans that are going to get left behind in Afghanistan,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“Anytime you allow a partisan, political decision designed for a photo-op, it will lead to a fatal national security problem on the battlefield,” he said. “And that is what transpired here based upon what Joe Biden as president has done.”
McCarthy has called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to call Congress back to session early in order for lawmakers to vote on a bill to block Biden’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal, a deadline backed by the Taliban, until all Americans are evacuated from the country. The House is not expected to return to Washington until Sept. 20, long after the Aug. 31 deadline.
A State Department spokesman said Sunday that 250 American citizens remain in Afghanistan, three days after ISIS-K terrorists attacked the airport in Kabul, killing 13 U.S. service members and more than 170 Afghans.
McCarthy said Sunday that the Biden administration is “allowing the Taliban to dictate our foreign policy,” and that the U.S. military should not have left Bagram Air Base, which was handed back to the Afghan government on July 1 before it was overtaken by the Taliban on Aug. 15.
“Even if, at the end of the day, they wanted to close that base, why would they close it before all of the Americans were out?” he asked. “You housed more than 5,000 terrorists in a prison there. They have now been released. You left in the middle of the night without telling your allies. You left weaponry. Now the prisoners are out. ISIS-K, we’re seeing the damage and what they’re able to do in such a short time frame. We’re watching Americans being left behind, and an administration knowingly making that decision.
“There’s no excuse why this deadline has not been extended. The speaker has got to call us back in,” he added. “We should have the members of Congress back for another classified briefing before they bring our men and women out of there.”