House Republicans Voice Anger Over Handling of Afghanistan Draw Down, Want Probe

House Republicans are calling for a full investigation into the Biden administration's handling of the chaotic and deadly troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and they will get a high-profile chance to raise the issue this week.

"We're two weeks away of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and we have Americans stuck in Afghanistan with the Taliban in charge," House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, told reporters Tuesday. "There should be accountability for what I see is probably the biggest failure in American government on a military stage in my lifetime—we can never make this mistake again."

Democrats control the House, so Republicans don't have the power to begin an official probe on their own. Still, they are already plotting ways to highlight the issue—starting with a House Armed Services Committee hearing Wednesday on Congress' annual defense policy legislation, formally known as the National Defense Authorization Act.

"They won't be able to run from it," Armed Services Ranking Member Mike Rogers, an Alabama Republican, told reporters. "There will be many amendments."

Republicans have pushed a resolution that would require the Biden administration to give members of Congress daily updates on the situation in Afghanistan—the number of Americans and Afghan allies who had been evacuated from the Taliban-ruled country, as well as how many were still awaiting evacuation and updates on anyone who the Taliban had detained.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, didn't call up the legislation before Congress left the Capitol for its recess period. Members are not scheduled to return to the floor until September 20.

Republicans also are seeking to block the administration from recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate government.

The Pentagon announced Monday the last U.S. Military plane departed Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai International Airport a minute before Tuesday's deadline to have troops out of the country. The Taliban had toppled the Afghan government just weeks earlier. As many as 200 Americans are thought to have been remaining in the country, unable to evacuate in time.

President Joe Biden is set to address the nation about the end of the war in Afghanistan—the longest in American history—nearly two decades after the September 11 terrorist attacks that prompted it.

Thirteen American service members and more than 150 Afghans were killed when ISIS-K, an ISIS-affiliated terrorist group that operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, attacked the airport in Kabul last week.

"There's gonna be a reckoning for the decisions that led up to this," Representative Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican and Navy SEAL who was wounded by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan in 2012.

Crenshaw noted that an Afghan interpreter that was working alongside him and also injured in the blast later died.

"He was the kind of guy who we're leaving behind," he said. "He was kind of allies that we had making that sacrifice for our country."

Pelosi's office swiftly struck back at the GOP critics with a statement released as McCarthy was speaking to reporters.

"McCarthy has been on every side of the debate over Afghanistan—except the side of our troops," Pelosi's office told reporters in the emailed remarks. "McCarthy worked to undermine our military as they ended the military mission in Afghanistan—the best way to protect the lives of our troops—and secure the prospects of civilian departures for those who want to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead."

Pelosi's office didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on whether she plans to call members back into full session early or the Republicans' complaints that she hasn't already.

House Republicans respond to Afghanistan situatoin
Republicans have pushed a resolution that would require the Biden administration to give daily updates on the situation in Afghanistan and are attempting to block the recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate government. Taliban fighters holding Taliban flags gather along a street during a rally in Kabul on Sunday as they celebrate after the U.S. pulled all its troops out of the country. Hoshang Hashimi / AFP/Getty Images