When President Biden signed a continuing resolution in September to keep the government up and running for a few more months, he was also signing an agreement to abide by a November 30th deadline from Congress to report more information about his administration's disastrous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan.
November 30th has come and gone and the additional information the Biden administration was supposed to provide is nowhere to be found, and Republican Senator Rob Portman (OH) wants answers.
"The Biden administration was required by law to report to Congress by November 30 on the composition and vetting of the Afghan evacuees," Portman said in a statement, "including who actually got on our planes and just how many special immigrant visa holders, and others who helped US forces and our allies over the last 20 years were left behind. It has failed to do so."
"The feckless nature of evacuation of Afghans has put our national security at risk, and I am troubled by the administration’s lack of responsibility or accountability on this issue, Portman added of the disjointed and chaotic airlift carried out by the Biden administration in August.
According to the legislation signed by Biden in September to fund the government, his administration was required to submit a written report by November 30th detailing the airlift and evacuation from Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport and providing more information about how was evacuated by U.S. forces and how those individuals were vetted.
According to The Washington Examiner, "the breakdown must include how many evacuees are at U.S. overseas bases or nonmilitary holding areas abroad, as well as the number of lawful permanent residents, SIV holders, SIV applicants, nonimmigrant visa holders, and refugee referrals."
That information, for now though, still hasn't been provided to Congress to allow full oversight of how the Biden administration's departure from Afghanistan became such a failure.
It's hardly surprising that Biden failed to abide by Congress' requirement for more information, given how the president and his senior military and diplomatic aides failed to provide information throughout the withdrawal. President Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken all failed to understand the Taliban threat in Afghanistan and couldn't provide data on how many U.S. citizens were evacuated or left stranded when the last American left Afghan soil.
Whether Biden and his administration are hoping they can wait out public interest in their failed withdrawal or they still don't have the information owed to Congress, it's yet another failure for the Biden administration related to its botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. As Senator Portman rightfully points out, it's all tied to President Biden's "lack of responsibility or accountability" despite Biden's claim that the buck stops with him.