House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Friday that he is demanding Speaker Nancy Pelosi call the chamber back into session after the deadliest attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan for more than 18 months, leaving 13 service members dead and more than a dozen others wounded.
In an interview with “Fox & Friends,” McCarthy, a California Republican, told co-host Brian Kilmeade that lawmakers need to vote on legislation that blocks the pullout of all U.S. troops until every American who wants to leave the country is evacuated.
“Not only are we less safe there, but we are also less safe in America today,” McCarthy said in response to an observation by the co-host that American forces in Afghanistan are facing renewed dangers after noting that President Joe Biden has also imperiled the country with his lax border enforcement policies.
“As you’ve reported, he’s opened our border. Long before this collapse in Afghanistan, we have been catching people on the terrorist watch list coming across our border from Yemen. Not on the same day either,” the House GOP leader said.
McCarthy went on to predict more mayhem in Kabul.
“What’s going to happen now where we’re watching ISIS grow again in Afghanistan, when 5,000 prisoners were released inside Afghanistan, when they now know where they can come to America? We’re less than three weeks from the anniversary of 9/11 and this administration has put America in this position, this is unacceptable,” McCarthy continued.
“Nancy Pelosi needs to bring us back into session, bring up this bill, move this deadline and make sure every single American is able to leave Afghanistan,” he added.
The California Democrat has been roundly criticized — mostly by Republicans but also by some Democrats — for exerting what some have said is dictatorial control over the lower chamber.
On Thursday, however, she was blasted on social media after droning on for several minutes without mentioning the deadly attacks on American military personnel once.
During an event in her home state, Pelosi instead focused on voting legislation making its way through Congress as well as women’s equality and the right to vote, both of which were major social issues more than a century ago.
“It’s great to be here with you, I just have some special guests with me today, my daughter Christine who has on her purple and white which she always wears. And two of my college roommates from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. …I have on our scarf from the college…it was purple and gold, the colors of the suffragettes,” Pelosi, maskless, told the outdoor crowd.
“A few days ago in the House of Representatives… we passed the John Lewis Voting Rights Enhancement Act to offset the damage that the courts are doing to the right to vote, and in doing so we also need the Senate to pass it and to pass HR1 which is legislation to overturn the voter suppression laws that are being enacted across the country,” she said. “Not only to suppress the vote, but to nullify the vote. So we have important work to do.”
Several members of Congress and social media users responded with shocked disbelief at what they perceived as distinct tone-deafness given the day’s events half a world away.
“How is this real? There is an ongoing terrorist attack at the airport in Kabul. Marines and soldiers have died in service to our nation. Yet, Speaker Pelosi is tweeting about Biden’s socialist wish list. This is beyond shameful,” Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), wrote.
How is this real? There is an ongoing terrorist attack at the airport in Kabul. Marines and soldiers have died in service to our nation.
Yet, Speaker Pelosi is tweeting about Biden's socialist wish list.
This is beyond shameful. https://t.co/ryXw9kV2n6
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) August 26, 2021
We haven’t heard anything from President Biden.
The White House continues to postpone briefings.@SpeakerPelosi has tweeted about Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, but not a word about the growing loss of American lives in Afghanistan.
Is there any leadership in this country?
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) August 26, 2021
Mrs. Pelosi. Really? https://t.co/4qiYatTROo
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) August 26, 2021
Pelosi eventually posted a statement about the carnage inflicted on U.S. troops several hours after the attacks took place.
The United States House of Representatives strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack outside Kabul airport. We mourn the loss of every innocent life taken, and we join every American in heartbreak over the deaths of the servicemembers killed.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 26, 2021
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