Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced the Afghanistan Vetting and Accountability Act, a bill to strengthen vetting procedures for Afghans who were evacuated to the United States following Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. Senator Hawley’s bill would implement careful and appropriate vetting standards for evacuees and declassify intelligence related to the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.
Senator Hawley said, "Nearly seven months after the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, there has been zero accountability. Now we know that the vetting process for evacuees was rushed and careless. My bill would implement strong new vetting procedures, declassify intelligence related to the withdrawal, and take steps to ensure public transparency and accountability for a disaster that claimed the lives of 13 American service members."
A Pentagon Inspector General report released last month revealed numerous failures in the Biden administration’s vetting process, including at least 50 evacuees with significant security concerns who were allowed to enter the U.S.
Bill text can be found here.
The Afghanistan Vetting and Accountability Act would:
- Require the Department of Homeland Security to verify the personal and biometric information of individuals evacuated from Afghanistan last year.
- Instruct the Department of Homeland Security to conduct in-person vetting interviews with all evacuees from Afghanistan.
- Require the Secretary of Homeland Security submit a vetting certification and quarterly report to Congress on the list of evacuees. This quarterly report will include any known criminal records and the current vetting status of Afghan evacuees.
- Restrict public welfare from those evacuees who do not complete appropriate in-person vetting as required under this Act.
- Declassifies all intelligence related to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan to improve public accountability.