The Biden administration has missed a congressional deadline to provide details relating to the Afghanistan evacuation, says Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
President Joe Biden had signed a continuing resolution, approved by Congress, on Sept. 30, according to the Washington Examiner. The measure required the administration to disclose details of the government’s Afghanistan evacuation and resettlement initiative.
It required the Department of Homeland Security to submit a written report within 60 days detailing how many Afghans are in the U.S. The report is also required to break down how many of the evacuees are at U.S. bases out of the country or holding areas overseas.
But as of Monday, no information had been received, the Examiner noted.
“The Biden administration was required by law to report to Congress by Nov. 30 on the composition and vetting of the Afghan evacuees — including who actually got on our planes and just how many special immigrant visa holders, and others who helped U.S. forces and our allies over the last 20 years, were left behind. It has failed to do so,” Portman said.
“The feckless nature of evacuation of Afghans has put our national security at risk, and I am troubled by the administration’s lack of responsibility or accountability on this issue,” Portman said.
The Examiner reported that Congress also wants the number of evacuees who have been labeled as a security concern. It also is looking for the costs of the U.S. evacuation operation.
According to the news outlet, of the 82,000 U.S. arrivals from Afghanistan, 4,920 were U.S. citizens, 3,280 were lawful permanent residents, and the remaining 73,800 were Afghan nationals.
In October, Senate Republicans wrote to top Biden administration officials asking for clarification about refugee resettlement procedures after Reuters reported that hundreds of Afghan evacuees had left U.S. bases without receiving resettlement services.
A group of more than one dozen Republican senators, which was organized by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, wrote in the letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that the procedures for vetting evacuees “remain unclear and incomplete, and, unless changed, are insufficient to preserve the safety of the American homeland,” according to Fox News.