EXCLUSIVE: Top GOP officials in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday demanded answers from the Biden administration on information relating to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Documents first obtained by Fox News show that Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, led a group of Republicans in submitting a Resolution of Inquiry (ROI) that calls on the White House and State Department to provide all communication, intelligence assessments and documents on ending the War in Afghanistan.
The ROI grants the administration 14 days to return the 8-page request for information.
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If the administration does not supply the information, the ROI would traditionally head to the House floor to become a “privileged resolution,” which would then force the executive branch to hand over the requested information.
But Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are not likely to get answers from the administration through their request.
In March, Democratic members of the House Rules Committee extended a measure that bars ROIs from becoming privileged resolutions. The rule was first implemented in March 2020 as a way to keep business from hitting the House floor during the pandemic.
House Republicans have grown increasingly frustrated by Democrats who have continuously extended the measure – most recently pushing the rule through Oct. 27.
But despite the late-October deadline, McCaul told Fox News the ROI should be processed without delay.
“There should be no delay in the investigation into the disastrous events in Afghanistan,” the House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member said. “I and my Republican colleagues are hopeful that this Resolution of Inquiry will be supported by Democrat Leadership in order to hold this administration accountable for the actions that led to the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan and the deadly aftermath.”
ROIs are traditionally utilized by the minority party to hold the executive branch accountable.
While committees have not been barred from submitting resolutions, the oversight tool has been made ineffective without the threat of becoming a privileged resolution.
Republicans in the Rules committee have urged their colleagues to reverse the measure that has crippled ROIs and return to business as usual.
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“Although Democrats claim that turning off the use of resolutions of inquiry is related to available floor time, it is really a move to shield the Biden Administration from answering legitimate questions about its abject failures and missteps,” Rules Committee Ranking Member Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told Fox News.
Republicans are further frustrated by Democratic moves to stymie GOP attempts to conduct oversight, given the number of ROIs filed under the Trump administration.
During the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, when Democrats held the Minority, 18 ROI’s were submitted to the executive branch.
The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has left members of Congress demanding answers from the White House.
Fox News could not immediately reach House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., for comment on where he stands in gaining more answers from the executive branch through ROI’s.
But Meeks, who led hearings last month with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is set to hold a virtual hearing Tuesday to evaluate what President Biden referred to as the “messy” withdrawal from Afghanistan.