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Politics These 16 Republicans voted against speeding up visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban

14:21  13 september  2021
14:21  13 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Some of the Republican House members who this week excoriated President Joe Biden's strategy to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and evacuate Afghan civilians voted last month against legislation to speed up the visa application process for Afghan citizens.

The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to make it easier for Afghans who assisted the American military to relocate to the U.S. The Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act (ALLIES) Act was approved by a 407-16 vote on July 22. The 16 "no" votes were all from Republicans.

The ALLIES Act removes some application requirements for Afghan special immigrant visas that led to long backlogs and wait times. It also boosts the number of visas for Afghans by an additional 8,000 to 19,000. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., introduced the bill in June, with 24 bipartisan cosponsors.

At least three babies have been born during US evacuation efforts from Afghanistan

  At least three babies have been born during US evacuation efforts from Afghanistan Three babies have been born amid evacuation efforts from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country, U.S. officials confirmed.Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Tuesday one of the babies was born on a C-17 military aircraft, and the other two were born in a hospital at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

a close up of a woman: Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, expressing opposition to © Jacquelyn Martin, AP Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, expressing opposition to "critical race theory," during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ORG XMIT: DCJM126

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“We have a moral obligation to make sure the American handshake matters, that we are keeping our promises,” Crow told Colorado Public Radio. “We have to show to the world that our word is our bond.”

Biden has faced withering bipartisan criticisms for his handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which has led to the Taliban's return to power.

More: U.S. evacuations flights restart from Kabul as Taliban declares 'amnesty' for government officials

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Stunning photo: More than 600 people pack a US Air Force plane leaving Afghanistan amid siege, reports say

These Republican House members voted against the bill:

  • Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado
  • Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama
  • Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee
  • Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina
  • Rep. Bob Good of Virginia
  • Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
  • Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma
  • Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia
  • Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky
  • Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama
  • Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Bill Posey of Florida
  • Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana
  • Rep. Chip Roy of Texas

The U.S. military on Tuesday continued to evacuate American citizens and Afghan civilians who helped American troops after reports of chaos at Hamid Karzai International Airport Monday. Afghans rushed the tarmac and clung to already loaded airplanes, desperate to escape. At least seven people died in the melee.

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  Al Qaeda, ISIS-K, and a trio of has-beens: The players in Taliban-led Afghanistan Just over a week ago, the U.S.-backed Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was overthrown as the Taliban swept through Afghanistan and seized the capital with the aim of establishing the so-called “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan."As thousands of Americans and Afghan allies remain behind Taliban lines in Afghanistan as the U.S. evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport continues, multiple players in the country, including Taliban allies such as the Haqqani Network and al Qaeda, have strengthened their hand while anti-Taliban warlords have fled the country and anti-Taliban resistance fighters engage in a desperate fight with the country's new rulers.

As reports of Afghan people fleeing the Taliban spread across social media, many of these lawmakers attacked Biden.

More: 'I am begging you guys:' Florida veteran fights to bring his Afghan interpreter to the U.S.

Learn: ‘They will slaughter us’: Afghans who worked with US beg for visas as troop withdrawal looms

In a tweet Monday, Biggs wrote, "Let’s set the record straight before Biden & co. starts blaming Trump for the Afghanistan disaster. Biden abandoned Trump’s peace plan & exit strategy & haphazardly created his own. Biden is FULLY responsible for this absolute wreck."

After Biden's address to the nation Monday, Boebert tweeted, "The American people are not arguing that we should have stayed in Afghanistan. We’re furious that you abandoned Americans on the ground and are the most incompetent President in American history."

Crow, the lead sponsor of the ALLIES Act, responded to another one of Boebert's tweets Sunday in which she wrote, "Joe has a 48 year history of making bad decisions. Add this weekend’s foreign policy decisions to the list."

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"Wait a minute," Crow quote-tweeted Boebert. "A few weeks ago you were 1 of only 16 members of Congress who voted against my bill to expand and speed up the visa program to evacuate and save our Afghan partners."

DesJarlias slammed Biden in a statement: “A hasty withdrawal that was given zero thought left our citizens in danger and threatened the security of classified information falling into the hands of terrorists," he said.

"President Biden and his administration were reckless and deserve to be held accountable for the disastrous mistakes they made in our departure from this country.”

More: 'They already looking for me': An Afghan interpreter on the last 24 hours

Related: Afghanistan mayor worries the Taliban may 'kill' her: Will women be oppressed again?

Massie singled out American arrogance in a tweet, "The hubris that led the US to spend 20 years in Afghanistan is the same hubris that caused the withdrawal to become an emergency evacuation."

Duncan agreed with Biden's decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan but objected to how Biden went about the withdrawal.

"I don't disagree with @JoeBiden's comments on stopping endless wars," Duncan tweeted. "I agree with him, I've said I agree with him, and I disagree with many in my party on this issue. But THE WAY he's implemented this withdrawal is a completely separate and deeply troubling issue."

What Afghanistan’s Women Stand to Lose

  What Afghanistan’s Women Stand to Lose “All that I have worked for, all of my dreams, have become zero"When Taliban fighters encroached on the Afghan capital Sunday, Zainab, a reporter in her mid-20s, made a decision to leave the country. She had never been abroad, but it did not deter her. If anything, it propelled her forward.

In a statement, Hern laid the blame for the havoc in Afghanistan on Biden's shoulders.

“The truth is, Biden owns this. This is a tragedy of his own making. Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Defense Secretary Austin either lied to the American people, or they are spectacularly incompetent," Hern said in a statement. "They reassured us that Afghanistan would not fall, that the Taliban would not take Kabul, and that Americans would not be put in harm’s way. Not only were they wrong, they were proven wrong almost immediately."

Moore called the American retreat "a painful betrayal of our Afghan allies" and "an unforgivable insult to the thousands of American who spilled their blood on Afghan soil" in a statement.

Rosendale agreed with Biden's decision to leave but said in a tweet, "the chaos we're seeing is not an excuse to flood our country with refugees from Afghanistan."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: These 16 Republicans voted against speeding up visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban

Female Afghan Journalist Says Country Needs to Stand on Its Own After Americans Leave .
Sediqa Rezaei, a female journalist in Afghanistan, is hopeful Afghans will mount a physical fight against the Taliban if the country plunges back into the 1990s.After two decades and an investment of billions of dollars, American troops left Afghanistan and the country quickly fell to the Taliban, sparking international criticism. President Joe Biden defended his strategy, criticizing the Afghan army for failing to resist Taliban forces, a demonstration that the result would not have changed if troops remained for another year or another five years.

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