Ahead of a closed-door Congressional hearing on President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan—which will include testimony from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is calling for a portion of the proceedings to be made open to the public.
In a letter to Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee who will be holding the joint closed hearing next week, Ernst and 17 of her Senate colleagues called for a portion to be open to the public “in the interest of transparency and accountability for the American people.”
Ernst and her colleagues write: “President Biden’s misguided and dangerous decisions in his botched withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan led to the United States’ most stunning, unforced and humiliating defeat in decades. […] Now, we as members of the United States Senate, and the American people, are rightfully demanding answers.”
They continue, “That’s why it is imperative that a portion of this joint hearing be open to the public so that American families and all impacted by the botched withdrawal can hear directly from Secretaries Blinken and Austin.”
Following President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Ernst, a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism, has pushed for the Biden administration to protect the rights of Afghan women and girls—a bipartisan effort that has the backing of every single female U.S. senator. She is also continuing to push for more transparency and accountability after the Biden administration green-lighted U.S. taxpayer money to flow through the Taliban and Haqqani Network.