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California's 40th District

Months following the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) seeks to ensure proper spending of taxpayer dollars needed to help evacuate stranded Americans and their Afghan allies who remain in the region.

Toward that goal, Rep. Kim on Jan. 18 sponsored the Rescue Endangered SIVs and Citizens and Urgently Evacuate to Safety (RESCUES) Act of 2022, H.R. 6418, which would establish congressional oversight of the U.S. State Department’s management of private Afghanistan evacuation operations. There are six GOP original cosponsors of the bill, including U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Brian Mast (R-FL).

“Our mission is not over as long as Americans remain in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, which is why I am proud to lead the RESCUES Act to ensure Congress uses its oversight powers and the American people can have answers,” Rep. Kim said. 

If enacted, H.R. 6418 would enforce congressional oversight on the executive branch and increase transparency on evacuation efforts by creating reporting requirements for the State Department to provide to Congress and identify bureaucratic barriers faced by private evacuation forces, according to a bill summary provided by the congresswoman’s office. 

The State Department report would include a breakdown of costs toward specific purposes; whether any fees were paid directly to the Taliban; the number of people evacuated under specified categories; and efforts by the State Department to prevent waste, fraud or abuse of funds provided for these purposes, the summary says.

“The Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan has resulted in the loss of 13 U.S. service members, abandoned Americans and allies behind enemy lines, emboldened the Taliban to expand its terrorist network, and tainted America’s standing on the world stage,” said Rep. Kim. “The State Department’s disorganized handling of evacuations and lack of communication with Congress and the American people continues to prompt questions and warrant answers.”

“I’m grateful to the NGOs, veterans and Congressional offices who have stepped up to fulfill the critical role the Biden Administration was unprepared to handle and will continue to do everything in my power to support their efforts and ensure taxpayer dollars are used wisely,” she said.

Rep. McCaul said that congressional oversight “is absolutely necessary” to ensure Americans know how and when their tax dollars are used to rescue Americans and allies. “I am grateful to Congresswoman Kim for introducing this vital legislation,” he said.

The Ripon Advance

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