Sen. Rick Scott Leads Colleagues to Introduce Resolution Establishing a Bipartisan Joint Afghanistan Investigation Committee

October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott was joined by Senators Kevin Cramer, Thom Tillis, Joni Ernst, Steve Daines, Mike Braun and Josh Hawley to introduce a resolution establishing a bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan, composed of members of the House and Senate, to conduct a full investigation into President Biden’s failed and tragic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan that stranded hundreds of Americans behind enemy lines, left billions of dollars in U.S. military equipment in the hands of terrorists and took the lives of 13 brave U.S. service members. This joint select committee would follow the precedent set in the aftermath of the Iran-Contra affair. For over a month, Senator Scott has been calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to launch a bicameral, bipartisan investigation, but they have been silent.


Senator Rick Scott said, “Last month, 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. Due to President Biden’s carelessness and failed leadership, 13 U.S. service members were lost, billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment was left for the Taliban, hundreds of American citizens were stranded behind enemy lines and Afghanistan has been returned to the Taliban and now rests in the hands of the same terrorist-coddling extremists who ruled it on September 11, 2001. The world is now a more dangerous place and the American people are rightfully demanding answers. For over a month, I have called on Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to launch a bipartisan and bicameral investigation into the Biden administration’s failed withdrawal of American forces. They’ve been shamefully silent. That’s why today, I am introducing a resolution to establish a bipartisan and bicameral Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan to conduct a full investigation and compile a joint report on the United States tragically failed withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s time to put partisan politics aside and demand accountability.”


Senator Kevin Cramer said, “The American people deserve to know what happened in Afghanistan, and it’s clear congressional hearings alone will not be sufficient for getting them answers. A bipartisan, joint select committee would be able to provide a comprehensive look at the truth behind why President Biden’s withdrawal failed and what we can do to prevent similar problems in the future.”


Senator Thom Tillis said, “The Biden Administration’s disastrous withdrawal of Afghanistan is a strategic failure that left thousands of Afghan allies behind, caused the death of U.S. servicemembers, and damaged U.S. credibility on the world stage. The American people deserve answers, and I am proud to join my colleagues to call for establishing a bipartisan select committee to investigate this colossal failure.”


Senator Joni Ernst, a combat veteran who served in the Global War on Terrorism, said, “President Biden’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan was a disgraceful humiliation that left America less safe, our adversaries emboldened, and Americans and allies still stranded behind Taliban lines. The American people, the brave men and women who served our nation in Afghanistan, and the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice—including the 13 heroic U.S. servicemembers who were killed in the attacks in Kabul last month—deserve answers. That’s why I’m helping lead this effort to create a bipartisan, bicameral committee to investigate Biden’s hasty withdrawal and hold the Administration accountable for their failures.”


Senator Steve Daines said, “President Biden’s failed withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in the tragic deaths of U.S. service members, the abandonment of Americans and our allies behind enemy lines, the loss of billions of dollars of military resources to terrorists and has left the United States, and the world, more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. There must be accountability for this disastrous withdrawal and the American people deserve answers.”


Senator Mike Braun said, “President Biden’s calamitous and incompetent withdraw from Afghanistan last month resulted in the tragic death of at least 13 U.S. service members and scores of Afghan civilians. We must establish a bipartisan and bicameral Joint Select Committee on Afghanistan to get to the bottom of this botched exit. The American people deserve transparency and accountability.”


Senator Josh Hawley said, “The Biden Administration has purposefully obscured the facts around their botched Afghanistan withdrawal that killed 13 American service members and left hundreds of Americans stranded behind enemy lines. The American people deserve answers and the Biden administration seems determined to prevent us from getting them. We need a select committee investigation and public hearings to get to the bottom of this debacle and hold officials accountable.”


Under Senator Scott’s resolution, the bipartisan and bicameral Joint Select Committee shall conduct an investigation into the United States’ withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan and report its findings to Congress including:

  • An analysis of any actions taken by the United States Government to proactively prepare for a successful withdrawal and any efforts to protect the safety of United States forces and neutralize threats in any withdrawal scenarios, including all timelines and advice provided by military leaders to President Biden and his national security team beginning in January 2021.
  • A summary of any intelligence reports that indicated an imminent threat at the Hamid Karzai International Airport preceding the deadly attack on August 26, 2021, and the risks to United States and allied country civilians as well as Afghan partners for various United States withdrawal scenarios.
  • A full and unredacted transcript of the phone call between President Biden and President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan on July 23, 2021.
  • A description of the initial views and advice of the United States Armed Forces and the intelligence community given to the National Security Council and the White House before the decisions were taken regarding closure of United States military installations, withdrawal of United States assets, and withdrawal of United States military personnel.
  • An assessment of United States assets, as well as any assets left behind by allies, that could now be used by the Taliban, ISIS-K, and other terrorist organizations operating within the region.
  • An assessment of the discussions between the United States Government and allies supporting our efforts in Afghanistan and a timeline for decision making regarding the withdrawal of United States forces, Afghan allies and nationals and other refugees. This includes discussions on any efforts to work with U.S. allies to repatriate all foreign nationals desiring to return to their home countries, the vetting of each individual and any coordination the Departments of State and Defense engaged in to safeguard members of the Armed Forces from infectious diseases and terrorist threats.


Senator Scott has repeatedly called for accountability and answers for the Biden administration’s failures in Afghanistan, including for Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to launch a bipartisan investigation into President Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan: