Representative Mike Gallagher is a veteran who knows that America is a great power that protects its people, not a declining power who abandons them. Yesterday, he offered a bill to save American lives by ensuring the Biden Administration accounts for every American in Afghanistan. It’s the kind of common sense bill that should win widespread support in both parties. “This is America. We don’t leave anybody behind,” Rep. Gallagher said on the floor today, “A great country such as ours takes care of our citizens and our allies.”
But Democrats would not yield the floor to debate his bill, not even for a minute. Faced with a humanitarian, national security, and credibility crisis in Afghanistan, their entire focus was on themselves. They spent this week arguing among themselves about two Washington power grabs: (1) a $5 trillion, Big Government spending binge that would make inflation worse and (2) an election bill that outlaws voter id, which is supported by large majorities of Americans, and is probably unconstitutional. Speaker Pelosi called it “a great day of pride for our country and our Democrats.”
And yet while House Democrats were busy congratulating themselves, President Biden made the decision to not to shift the arbitrary August 31 deadline to withdraw all American troops, despite strong bipartisan opposition. The President is effectively giving the Taliban veto power over an American military mission. As Rep. Gallagher points out, “if we get out on August 31, we are going to condemn thousands to death.”
I don’t care what party you belong to: there is nothing “prideful” about abandoning Americans to appease terrorists. This is not a great day for our country, it’s an embarrassing day. Since when do America’s enemies get to dictate our priorities? Since when does America leave our people behind?
Every American should feel outraged by this dereliction of duty from Speaker Pelosi and President Biden. We are three weeks from the 20th Anniversary of September 11, a solemn day of reflection and remembrance. Given what is still at stake in Afghanistan, it’s time for Congress to work to save lives. We should be doing nothing else on this floor until every American is home safely. Representative Gallagher’s bill would do that. And yet, Speaker Pelosi wouldn’t give it a vote on the House Floor.