Delays in evacuation efforts by the Biden administration have frustrated members of Congress on both sides of the aisle
Frustration continues to grow on Capitol Hill with the State Department, as American and Afghan allies remain stranded in Afghanistan, more than two weeks after the US completed its withdrawal from the country.
Congressional sources told Granthshala News that a call Wednesday between State Department staff and Congressional staffers became increasingly tense, as employees on both sides became angry over the agency’s questions about the evacuation to Afghanistan.
A source on the call told Granthshala News: “Extremely disappointed in general about Hill’s staff not having strong answers to all the questions they asked.”
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Two senior Hill employees told Granthshala News that the State Department has asked Congressional offices to dial back calls and emails being sent to the agency about Americans and Afghan allies trying to get out of the country. are doing.
The staff spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid jeopardizing an already contentious relationship with the State Department.
A senior employee told Granthshala News, “It’s an emergency for Americans to be held hostage. It’s an emergency for members and their employees who are trying to get them out. Not an emergency.” That employee described the State Department’s stranded Americans as “the DMV-ification of the hostage crisis,” referring to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
A State Department spokesman disputed that the call was controversial.
“The Biden administration thinks this is a story they want to go away. We know it’s a race to free American hostages and reunite them with their families,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, told Granthshala News.
Delays in evacuation efforts by the Biden administration have frustrated members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
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Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Con, said on 6 September that he was “deeply disappointed, even at the delay and inaction of our government in helping to get charter flights approved to depart from Mazar-i-Sharif Airport.” are also furious”.
Eleven days later, not much has changed.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wednesday that charter flights were still not allowed out of the airport, but said his agency was not to blame.
“We are very clear that persons who have expressed their desire and desire to leave through Mazar-i-Sharif should be allowed to leave the country. The fact remains, to my knowledge, a charter flight from Mazar It has nothing to do with what the State Department has or hasn’t done, and in fact, to the contrary,” Price said.
“The State Department, as we have said, has pulled every lever available to us.”