WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-21) called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken to commit to transparency and accountability surrounding the Afghanistan withdrawal. Secretary Blinken refused.
During a hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing today, Rep. Mast asked Secretary Blinken repeatedly to pledge to stand before Congress and answer questions during hearings specifically examining the August 2021 withdrawal. Secretary Blinken would not commit to returning to the House of Representatives to speak in person with the co-equal branch of government regarding one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in our nation’s history.
“Nearly every Member of this Committee, so far today, has asked about Afghanistan…I hope you do a better job at [answering questions on Afghanistan] than you have done to date.” Rep. Mast said.
Since President Biden took office, not a single senior official from the Biden Administration has been dismissed or reprimanded for the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan that resulted in deaths of thirteen American servicemembers and the loss of $7.1 billion in military equipment. In addition, under Democrat control, the House Foreign Affairs Committee failed to conduct proper oversight and did not hold a single hearing on the withdrawal in the 117th Congress.
In contrast, the Republican-led House Foreign Affairs Committee has committed to holding the Biden Administration accountable and already held its first hearing on Examining the Administration’s Emergency Evacuation from Afghanistan. As the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability, Rep. Mast will continue to push for answers from the Biden Administration.
During his questioning, Rep. Mast also reminded all veterans who served in Afghanistan to share their stories and perspectives with the Committee. They can do so here.
Watch the full exchange between Rep. Mast and Secretary Blinken here.