News from Congressman Barr

September 3, 2021

 

Congressional Update from U.S. Congressman Andy Barr

Withdrawal Accountability

On August 15, when the Taliban took power, the Administration said that between 10,000 to 15,000 Americans were still in Afghanistan.  However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, August 29, during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press that only 5,500 Americans were evacuated.  That is why I am pushing the Afghanistan Withdrawal Oversight and Liability (AWOL) Act in Congress.  This bill requires the Administration to provide a specific and accurate number of the Americans abandoned in Afghanistan and communicate a plan to get them out.  Other important provisions in the bill include:

  • Demanding an accounting of all the American military aircraft, weaponry and equipment left behind now under Taliban control.
  • Requiring transparency on any deals or agreements made by the Biden Administration with the Taliban.
  • Stating that the Taliban should not be recognized as the government of Afghanistan.
  • Prohibiting any federal funding or sanctions relief to the Taliban

It is a national disgrace that this President left a single American, let alone hundreds or even thousands, behind enemy lines.  The Administration offers the excuse that most of the Americans left behind did not want to be evacuated.  But who believes that any American wants to remain voluntarily in a country run by brutal terrorists who hate Americans?  This is a massive hostage crisis in the making, the likes of which we have never seen in American history.  As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will not rest until we hold this Administration accountable and demand every American be rescued.

Road to Recovery

On the heels of securing almost $2.5 million in federal funds for the Shepherd’s House and Isaiah House Treatment Center through the CAREER Act, I am pleased to announce that SPARK is opening a new location in Winchester, Kentucky.  Last year, overdose deaths rose by over 50% in Kentucky and almost 30% nationwide.  Providing the resources to groups like SPARK to fight back against this scourge of addiction is a top priority of mine in Congress.  SPARK provides recovery services for people struggling with addiction and is making a huge difference in Eastern Kentucky.  This past week, I was honored to attend and speak at SPARK Winchester’s opening event.  I am looking forward to working together with this wonderful organization in the future to reduce addiction and save lives.  I will continue pushing for more resources in this fight.

Supporting Our Servicemembers

I attended Military Freedom Fest on August 28th along with my two daughters to thank our veterans and show our support for our troops, especially those most recently involved in the Biden Administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.  God bless these brave men and women.

I also hosted the military service academy day in Lexington recently.  There was such an amazing turnout of bright and talented young men and women.  I am proud of all these students for their interest in attending military academies to serve as the next generation of leaders in the greatest military the world has ever known, and I am encouraged that our armed services will one day be staffed by these impressive individuals.

Sincerely,

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Congressman Andy Barr

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