Tennessee Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), joined 16 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the chairs of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. According to a press release by Hagerty’s office, the letter comes ahead of a closed joint hearing to receive testimony from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on President Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan.
In the letter, the Senators called for a portion of the joint hearing to be open to the public so that “American families and all impacted by the botched withdrawal can hear directly from Secretaries Blinken and Austin.”
“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,” the letter states. “In the withdrawal, America lost 13 brave service members, left billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment to be seized by the Taliban, stranded hundreds of American citizens behind enemy lines and returned Afghanistan to the same terrorist-coddling extremists who ruled it on September 11, 2001. Thanks to this administration’s actions, the world is now a more dangerous place. Now, we as members of the United States Senate, and the American people, are rightfully demanding answers.”
“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,” the letter continues. “We understand the importance of also having a closed portion of this hearing to discuss sensitive or classified information, but cannot allow this opportunity to pass without ensuring that the American people get answers from the Biden administration.”
Joining Senators Hagerty and Blackburn in sending the letter include Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), John Barrasso (R-WY), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Joni K. Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Josh Hawley (R-MO), James Lankford (R-OK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Marco Rubio (R-TN), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and Roger F. Wicker (R-MS).
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