WASHINGTON—Ahead of a closed-door Congressional hearing on President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan—which will include testimony from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, called for a portion of the proceedings to be made open to the public.
In a letter to Senators Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee holding the joint closed hearing next week, Ernst and 17 of her Senate colleagues called for a portion to be open to the public “in the interest of transparency and accountability for the American people.”
Ernst and her colleagues write: “President 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. […] Now, we as members of the United States Senate, and the American people, are rightfully demanding answers.”
They continue, “That’s why 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.”
Following President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Ernst, a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, has pushed for the Biden administration to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls—a bipartisan effort backed by every single female U.S. senator. She also continues to push for more transparency and accountability after the Biden administration allowed U.S. taxpayer money to flow through the Taliban and Haqqani Network.
Read the full letter below:220124 Afghanistan