WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) recently joined 27 of her colleagues in introducing the Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act. The legislation—spearheaded by Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—aims to address the unresolved issues related to the administration’s rushed and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“The Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan left Americans and our allies stranded in a Taliban-controlled state,” Senator Capito said. “There’s been a lack of accountability and a failure by the White House, State Department, and Department of Defense to take responsibility for their unconscionable foreign policy blunders. This legislation would take necessary steps the administration has failed to implement, such as putting in a place a strategy to evacuate those left behind, sanction the Taliban, and restrict and review any future aid to the country.” 

Specifically, the legislation:

  • 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.

In addition to Senators Capito and Risch, additional co-sponsors include, Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), 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.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Kennedy (R-La.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas).

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