House moderates call on Biden to reconsider Aug. 31 evacuation deadline

August 26, 2021
In The News

A group of House moderates is calling on President Biden to reconsider his Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan as the administration evacuates stranded Americans and Afghans fleeing the Taliban.  

statement by the Problem Solvers Caucus asks Biden to reconsider the Aug. 31 deadline and "provide a clear plan to Congress that will result in the completion of our shared national objectives."

"As Democrats and Republicans, we stand united in our commitment to protecting U.S. citizens, diplomats, intelligence officers, and our foreign partners who are currently attempting to flee Afghanistan," the statement, obtained by Politico, reads.

"In this time of tremendous danger, politics must be put aside to advance our common goals," the group added. "From this week's bipartisan Member briefing, it is apparent that the Administration's set date for departure from Afghanistan on August 31st does not provide enough time to evacuate all American citizens and our partners."

The caucus noted that more than 75 percent of its members supported the statement.  

It comes as the Biden administration faces growing pressure from other world leaders over the withdrawal deadline. The United Kingdom says it wants the mission to extend into September, while French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also called on Biden this week to reconsider the deadline.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have also expressed doubts about the rapidly approaching deadline.

“It's hard for me to imagine all of that can be accomplished between now and the end of the month," Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said.

Republicans are also calling for an extension, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) telling Biden to "forget about" the Aug. 31 deadline and continue evacuation efforts. 

Despite the calls for extension, Biden said Tuesday that he plans to stick with the initial deadline.