Washington, D.C.— U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) is supporting and pushing legislation in Congress requiring the Biden Administration to immediately give Congress a precise accounting of the Americans they abandoned in Afghanistan, and to communicate a plan to get them home safe.  The Biden Administration admitted that they stranded at least 200 Americans behind enemy lines in Afghanistan who wanted to leave the country. 

On August 15, when the Taliban took power, the Administration said that between 10,000 to 15,000 Americans were still in Afghanistan.  However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, August 29, during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press that only 5,500 Americans were evacuated.  That is why Congressman Barr is pushing the AWOL Act in Congress to:
  • Demand a specific and accurate number of the Americans abandoned in Afghanistan and a plan from the Biden Administration to bring Americans stranded in Afghanistan home.
  • Demand an accounting of all the equipment left behind.
  • Require transparency on any deals or agreements made by the Biden Administration with the Taliban.
  • State that the Taliban should not be recognized as the government of Afghanistan.
  • Prohibit any federal funding or sanctions relief to the Taliban.

“It is a national disgrace that this President left a single American, let alone hundreds or even thousands, behind enemy lines,” said Congressman Barr.  “The Administration offers the excuse that most of the Americans left behind did not want to be evacuated.  But who believes that any American wants to remain voluntarily in a country run by brutal terrorists who hate Americans?  This is a massive hostage crisis in the making, the likes of which we have never seen in American history.  That is why, as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will not rest until we hold this Administration accountable and demand every American be rescued.”

“President Biden’s incompetence has left hundreds of Americans stranded in Afghanistan,” said Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-08), who introduced and is sponsoring the AWOL Act.  “This common-sense bill holds the administration accountable by requiring them to develop a plan to save the people they left behind.  Congress cannot sit on the sidelines during this crisis, and I’m grateful to have Rep. Barr’s support in this effort.”

House Democrats unanimously rejected similar legislation on August 24, that would have required the Administration to provide Congress with daily accounting of the Americans left in Afghanistan during the withdrawal and prohibit troop withdrawal until all Americans were safely evacuated.