Slotkin Urges Biden To Extend Deadline For Afghan Evacuation
August 25, 2021
Bu Jon King / firstname.lastname@example.org
8th District Democrat Elissa Slotkin was among a group of House members briefed Tuesday by President Biden’s top national security officials on the situation in Afghanistan.
While the President reiterated he is sticking to his Aug. 31 deadline for completing a risky airlift of Americans, endangered Afghans and others seeking to escape Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, Slotkin was among lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who pressed top administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Tony Blinken, to extend the deadline.
Slotkin said “There was strong, bipartisan support to extend the August 31 deadline,” telling CNN “That was a major theme, a major comment a major point we all tried to make, urging them to do more to advocate with the president to extend the deadline.”
Slotkin, who previously served as a CIA analyst in Iraq, has used her social media to urge the Biden Administration to both quicken the pace of evacuations and also expand the ability of Afghans who want to leave the opportunity to get to the Kabul Airport, saying while it may entail risk to U.S. forces, she hopes it is being “debated and not dismissed out of hand, since so many of our brave men and women on the ground are chomping at the bit to help.”
As I head back to D.C. for votes this week, my team and I are still focused on moving Afghan nationals to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, for eventual transport out of Afghanistan. 1/9— Rep. Elissa Slotkin (@RepSlotkin) August 23, 2021
Slotkin added that the August 31st deadline “must be pushed back. That, too, entails risk since I understand it was negotiated with the Taliban. But these are the tough choices confronting us.”
In sticking to the deadline, Biden says the longer troops remain at the airport, the greater the risk of attacks by terror groups. However, the decision opens him up to criticism for caving to the Taliban, who say they will not permit the evacuation to go on longer, and to the prospect that some people who want to leave will be left behind.