Below is a press release from Senators Wicker and Hyde-Smith:
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., have cosponsored comprehensive legislation to address outstanding issues related to the Biden administration’s U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Wicker and Hyde-Smith are original cosponsors of the Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act (S.2863). The measure outlines a list of requirements to guide the American response to the aftermath of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The United States needs a complete plan of action to address the many problems created by President Biden’s haphazard withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Wicker said. “This legislation would ensure the State Department takes full responsibility for evacuating American citizens and Afghan allies while also ensuring the U.S. never recognizes the illegitimate Taliban leadership of Afghanistan.”
“President Biden’s mishandling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan created new security threats for our nation and our allies. It is critical that we avoid more missteps by this administration,” Hyde-Smith said. “This important legislation would bring much-needed guidance on how we begin restoring our standing in the world as we deal with the new terrorist-led regime now running Afghanistan.”
- Establish a State Department task force to focus on the evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVs) who are still stuck in Afghanistan.
- Impose oversight mechanisms on the processing of SIVs and refugees.
- Require strategies for counterterrorism and the disposition of Taliban-captured U.S. equipment.
- Sanction the Taliban and others in Afghanistan for terrorism, drug trafficking, and human rights abuses.
- Authorize sanctions on those providing support to the Taliban, including foreign governments supporting the Taliban.
- Assert that the United States should not recognize any member of the Taliban as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States or as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations.
- Require a comprehensive review of foreign assistance to entities that support the Taliban.
- Place restrictions on non-humanitarian foreign assistance to Afghanistan.
U.S. Senator Jim Risch, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the measure, which now includes almost 30 cosponsors.