Report: ‘Cohort’ of House Members Want to Help Extract Evacuees from Afghanistan

Paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., facilitate the safe evacuation of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and other at-risk Afghans out of Afghanistan as quickly and safely as possible from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Aug 22. …
U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

A “cohort” of Republican and Democrat House members reportedly intend to help extract evacuees from Afghanistan.

“Multiple sources tell Fox that there is a cohort of House members, from both sides of the aisle, who are either trying to go to Afghanistan or intend to go to Afghanistan to help evacuate people,” a Fox reporter tweeted.

“This comes despite an urging by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) not to do so,” he added.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 25: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) leaves after holding her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on August 25, 2021 in Washington, DC. Pelosi spoke on the budget resolution, infrastructure and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) leaves after holding her weekly press conference at the U.S. Capitol on August 25, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Pelosi issued a statement to that effect Tuesday:

Member travel to the Afghanistan and the surrounding countries would unnecessarily divert needed resources from the priority mission of safely and expeditiously evacuating America and Afghans at risk from Afghanistan. [sic]

As we pray for the safety of Americans, our allies and our Afghan partners on the ground, the Congress continues to work with the Administration to advance stability and security in Afghanistan during this devastating time.

Pelosi’s statement came the same day Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI) reported they had traveled to Kabul to inspect President Biden’s deadly evacuation.

“After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, that no matter what we do, we won’t get everyone out on time, even by September 11,” the congressmen said in a statement.

Moulton and Meijer also said they evacuated Kabul “on a plane with empty seats, seated in crew-only seats to ensure that nobody who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence.”

In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force Airman guides evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (Senior Airman Taylor Crul/U.S. Air Force via AP)

In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S. Air Force Airman guides evacuees aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021. (Senior Airman Taylor Crul/U.S. Air Force via AP)

The inspection was not public to reduce “the risk and disruption to the people on the ground.” But that was not enough to pacify disturbed U.S. officials, who perhaps would prefer the evacuation occur without congressional oversight on the ground.

“It’s as moronic as it is selfish,” an anonymous official told the Washington Post. “They’re taking seats away from Americans and at-risk Afghans — while putting our diplomats and service members at greater risk — so they can have a moment in front of the cameras.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø 

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