Hawley to Withhold Consent for Biden Nominees Until Austin, Blinken, Sullivan Resign

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Posted: Sep 14, 2021 12:30 PM
Hawley to Withhold Consent for Biden Nominees Until Austin, Blinken, Sullivan Resign

Source: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before the House Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday morning, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) took to the Senate floor to call for real accountability from President Biden for his humiliating and deadly exit from Afghanistan that left "hundreds of American civilians left behind to the enemy."

"President Biden turned an orderly evacuation into a disaster that much is painfully clear," Hawley said. "First, Joe Biden pulled our troops out, and then he sent thousands back in. He failed to protect Americans still in the country. He failed to account for lethal American military equipment he left behind. He failed to anticipate worsening conditions on the ground. He failed in his judgment that the Afghan security forces would hold their own when our own intelligence estimates said they wouldn't. He failed to anticipate a new offensive by the Taliban. He failed again, and again, and again, until American blood at the Kabul airport paid the price for that failure and then he celebrated it as an extraordinary success."

Hawley noted that Biden is not the only individual who bears blame for the Afghan withdrawal disaster.

"Joe Biden's team is responsible too," he said. "Men like Secretary Austin, Secretary Blinken, Jake Sullivan the National Security Advisor. They overestimated the Afghan security forces' willingness to hold the line and instead of planning for the worst they planned for the best. Because of them, we have Americans stranded behind enemy lines and over 100,000 Afghan refugees arriving now to this country at this 11th hour without vetting or precations. This was never necessary. It did not have to be this way and it shouldn't have been. Joe Biden is responsible for today's failure and now there must be accountability."

"Instead, the President's team is even now coming to Capitol Hill and blaming others, shirking responsibility," said Hawley while Blinken testified nearby. "It's cowardly. And I for one am not willing to look the other way. So let me be clear. I will not consent to the nomination of any nominee for the Department of Defense or for the Department of State until Secretary Austin and Secretary Blinken and Jake Sullivan resign," pledged Hawley.

"Leaders take responsibility for their failures and the failure of these individuals the failure of this administration has cost Americans their lives and has left American civilians to the enemy. There must be accountability and then there must be a new start."

Earlier this summer when American service members and Afghan citizens were killed by a suicide bomber amid the frenzied airlift that Biden ultimately ended before keeping his word to bring every American home, Hawley slammed Biden's failed leadership. "Joe Biden has now overseen the deadliest day for US troops in Afghanistan in over a decade, and the crisis grows worse by the hour. We must reject the falsehood peddled by a feckless president that this was the only option for withdrawal," he said. "This is the product of Joe Biden's catastrophic failure of leadership. It is now painfully clear he has neither the will nor the capacity to lead. He must resign."

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