Rep. Stewart’s statement on President Biden leaving Americans behind

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) released the following statement after the Biden Administration ended its evacuation in Afghanistan and left hundreds of Americans stranded behind enemy lines.

“This week, I was in Washington, D.C. with my Republican colleagues who also served in the military. We have all fought for the American ideal of “No Man Left Behind,” and we demanded the same from our Commander in Chief. American citizens are stranded behind enemy lines, and President Biden has no plan to bring them home. American military equipment is in the hands of terrorists, and President Biden has no plan to disarm them. House Republicans called a vote to right these wrongs, but Democrats declined to even consider it.

“Yesterday, President Biden declared his withdrawal from Afghanistan to be an ‘extraordinary success.’ Frankly, if the president truly believes those words, he is exceedingly detached from reality. American citizens and allies remain stranded in enemy territory – that is not a ‘success,’ but a failure of President Biden to uphold a fundamental duty as Commander in Chief. Not only that, but the president’s dishonest, accusatory defense of his own mistakes is a gross disservice to those American soldiers who laid down their lives in Kabul. They represented the best of America, and President Biden’s leadership has not been worthy of their sacrifice. This evacuation will forever be remembered as a historically shameful time in our nation’s history, no matter how much the White House wants to spin it otherwise.

“Republicans are proposing a four-point strategy to make real change – not just change the narrative. First and foremost, we need a plan to get every American home safely. Second, we need an official accounting of all U.S. military equipment left behind. President Biden must also reaffirm our nation’s pledge to not negotiate with, or pay ransom to, terrorists. This would not be necessary had President Biden ensured the safe return of all Americans, but it is the reality of our current situation. Finally, we can never recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.

“President Biden’s national-security calamity is a stain on our nation’s history, as well as on our present international standing. But that doesn’t change the fact that we must move forward. Alongside my fellow Republican colleagues, I am calling on Speaker Pelosi to immediately reconvene Congress so that we can hold this administration accountable, bring our people home safely, and save lives.”