The following is a release from the office of Senator John Barrasso –
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) recently joined Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and 21 Senate colleagues in introducing the Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act. This legislation tackles the outstanding issues related to the administration’s rushed and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was an epic failure,” said Barrasso.“President Biden left Americans stranded behind enemy lines, forfeited billions of dollars’ worth of American military equipment and abandoned our allies to the horrors of the Taliban. Given the serious threats resulting from the administration’s disastrous decisions, Congress needs to quickly take action to protect the safety and security of our citizens and our nation. Our legislation prioritizes the evacuation of American citizens and our allies while holding the Taliban accountable through tough sanctions. It also mandates the creation of a real counterterrorism strategy for Afghanistan—something this administration should have produced prior to evacuating.”
In addition to Sens. Barrasso and Risch, original cosponsors are Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
- Establishes a State Department task force to focus on the evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents, and Afghan Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) who are still stuck in Afghanistan.
- Imposes oversight mechanisms on the processing of SIVs and refugees.
- Requires strategies for counterterrorism and for the disposition of Taliban-captured U.S. equipment.
- Sanctions the Taliban and others in Afghanistan for terrorism, drug-trafficking, and human rights abuses.
- Authorizes sanctions on those providing support to the Taliban, including foreign governments supporting the Taliban.
- States that the United States should not recognize any member of the Taliban as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States or as the ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations.
- Calls for a comprehensive review of foreign assistance to entities that support the Taliban.
- Places restrictions on non-humanitarian foreign assistance to Afghanistan.
Text of the legislation can be found here.