COLUMBUS, Ohio – GOP congressmen from Ohio said President Joe Biden’s decision in early June to dismiss a mandate to confer with lawmakers before withdrawing from Afghanistan contributed to the chaotic withdrawal that officially ended Tuesday.
The Ohio Star contacted the 11 Republican representatives to react to a report from justthenews.com that Biden had waived a congressional mandate to receive a Pentagon risk assessment to counter-terrorism operations and the safety of American personnel stationed in Afghanistan to Congress before U.S. troop levels fell below 2,000.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) one of three lawmakers responding to The Star, noted in a statement Biden had said, “the buck stops here” when it came to decisions about the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The decisions that led to the chaos, bloodshed, loss of American and Afghan lives, as well as the national security were all his,” said Wenstrup, the ranking member of the House Permanent Committee of Intelligence.
The waiving of the report aside, Wenstrup said the administration had plenty of warnings from members of Congress.
“Starting months ago – through letters, phone calls and through legislation – we gave warnings that collapse would ensue,” he wrote in the statement.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-1) said Biden’s ignoring of sending a report to Congress speaks volumes of the administration’s disdain for congressional oversight and budget authority.
“It’s pretty clear the Biden Administration left Congress out of the loop because they didn’t want to be criticized,” Chabot said. “Many of us in Congress were pressuring the Administration to either abandon its arbitrary deadline for withdrawing the troops or to take appropriate measures to prevent a disastrous outcome.
“Well, the Biden Administration ignored dire warnings those warnings just as they ignored the dire warnings of the intelligence community, and we are now suffering the consequences.”
Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH-12) said Biden’s decision to bypass Congress just adds to Biden’s leadership deficiency.
“The President’s failure to plan for every contingency and provide adequate information about the deteriorating security conditions are just more examples on a long list of failures in leadership from this Administration,” the statement reads.
Balderson called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to end the congressional recess early for an investigation into the Afghanistan withdrawal’s shortcomings.
“Too many questions remain unanswered about the lead up to the botched withdrawal,” Balderson’s statement reads. “The American people deserve the truth.”
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Brian R. Ball is a veteran journalist reporting for The Ohio Star and Star News Network. Send him news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Brad Wenstrup” by Brad Wenstrup. Photo “Steve Chabot” by Rep. Steve Chabot. Photo “Troy Balderson” by Rep. Troy Balderson. Background Photo “afghanistan” by The U.S. Army. CC BY 2.0.