UPDATED 6:40 AM PT – Sunday, August 22, 2021
A bipartisan group of representatives claimed the deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan was arbitrary and fueled panic. The four representatives, two Democrat veterans and two Republican veterans, met on Friday to discuss the withdrawal.
Democrat Rep. Jason Crow (Colo.) asked the Biden administration to extend efforts around the Kabul airport to get Americans out. He said he believed that would be the only way for Americans to make it past the Taliban and be evacuated.
THEY NEED TIME! Kabul airport gates are mobbed & Americans + SIVs can’t get through bc Afghans know the math- if we are abandoning them by 8/31, they know it’s 96 hours b4 evac flights end and mil evac starts. By not extending deadline @POTUS guarantees a line of innocent dead. https://t.co/FrF2eLoJP5
— Rep. Peter Meijer (@RepMeijer) August 21, 2021
In addition, Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer (R) called the August 31 deadline arbitrary and said the U.S. needed to focus on the goal of evacuation rather than specific dates.
“The situation evolved too rapidly for many of the estimates,” he expressed. “Right now, and I think we speak in a unified voice in this, we cannot turn our backs on the American citizens that are there and on our Afghan allies who are there as well.”
The total number of Americans and Afghan allies still needing evacuation has been estimated to be in the thousands.