On Monday, Sen. Rick Scott led a letter co-signed by 17 Republican colleagues calling to make public at least some of the scheduled hearing about the American withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Scott wrote Sens. Jack Reed and Bob Menendez, the respective chairs of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Scott appealed to the Democratic leadership to allow the public to hear from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on what Scott’s release calls the “botched and deadly withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan.”
“President Joe Biden’s misguided and dangerous decisions in his botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan led to the United States’ most stunning, unforced and humiliating defeat in decades. In the withdrawal, America lost 13 brave service members, left billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment to be seized by the Taliban, stranded hundreds of American citizens behind enemy lines and returned Afghanistan to the same terrorist-coddling extremists who ruled it on Sept. 11, 2001. Thanks to this administration’s actions, the world is now a more dangerous place. Now, we as members of the United States Senate, and the American people, are rightfully demanding answers,” the letter asserted.
Scott and the co-signers believe it “is imperative that a portion of this joint hearing be open to the public so that American families and all impacted by the botched withdrawal can hear directly from Secretaries Blinken and Austin.”
While a “closed” portion of the hearing would still permit the discussion of “sensitive or classified information,” the senators “cannot allow this opportunity to pass without ensuring that the American people get answers from the Biden administration.”
Co-signers included Sens. John Barrasso, Marsha Blackburn, Bill Cassidy, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, Deb Fischer, Ron Johnson, Bill Hagerty, Josh Hawley, James Lankford, Roger Marshall, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Dan Sullivan, Thom Tillis, Tommy Tuberville, and Roger Wicker.
Scott has been among the sharpest critics of the Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan, even going so far as to suggest the President should be removed from office in the wake of the move.