House Minority Whip Steve Scalise says the U.S.-led evacuation in Afghanistan should take as long as necessary, even if that means extending it beyond August 31st.
Watch Scalise’s remarks in the player above.
“We need to have the top priority to tell the Taliban that we’re going to get all of our people out, regardless of what timeline was initially set,” Scalise said.
He added that “Every option should be on the table to protect American lives,” including military force.
President Joe Biden has decided not to extend his Aug. 31 deadline for completing the U.S.-led evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan, an administration official said Tuesday.
Scalise was joined by Republican Congressional members who are also veterans.
Rep. Tony Gonzales who served in Afghanistan said the U.S., under President Joe Biden, “has given up the high ground on intelligence when we are trying to extract Americans.”
Rep. Brian Mast, who also served in Afghanistan and lost both his legs from an IED explosion there, said “”history is repeating itself,” comparing to the withdrawal from Afghanistan to the US departure in Vietnam.
Speaking alongside, Rep. Jim Baird, who was injured in Vietnam, he said, “Vietnam wasn’t lost because of guys like Jim Baird … It was lost because of Pennsylvania Avenue. And Afghanistan is not lost because of those that hiked up over the mountains alongside so many of us standing here. It’s lost because of Pennsylvania Avenue.”