NASHVILLE, TENN. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) led 16 of their Senate colleagues in a letter to Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairs of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, ahead of a closed joint hearing. The purpose of the February 2, 2022 hearing is to receive testimony from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on President Biden’s disastrous and deadly withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan.
In the letter, Senators Blackburn and Scott along with their colleagues called for a portion of this 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. Senators Blackburn and Scott were joined by Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tommy Tuberville (R- Ala.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
Read more in the letter HERE or below.
Dear Chairman Reed and Chairman Menendez:
Next week, the United States Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations are scheduled to hold a closed joint hearing to hear testimony from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on President Biden’s botched and deadly withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan. We thank you for holding this incredibly important and urgently needed hearing and write to you today in the interest of transparency and accountability for the American people.
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. 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. 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.
The United States Senate must exercise the full authority of its oversight abilities to ensure that we have total transparency and accountability for the actions and decisions that led to and exacerbated the failures of this withdrawal. We appreciate your attention to this urgently important matter and look forward to working together to deliver answers to the American people.