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Washington, D.C.- House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul led committee Republicans in a letter to Secretary Yellen to emphasize the importance of maintaining the United States sanctions framework currently in place against the Taliban and associated forces.

“With the withdrawal of all U.S. military forces and diplomatic personnel having been completed while Americans and thousands of our Afghan allies remain trapped on the ground, the Taliban holds all the cards. Despite the public statements that have been made, we urge you and the rest of the Biden Administration to maintain a very healthy dose of skepticism about what the Taliban’s intentions and abilities are. Our own people are in grave danger throughout Afghanistan, a massive refugee crisis is only continuing to grow as people flee the Taliban’s violent rule, and Afghan women and other vulnerable populations await their fate under the Taliban’s iron rod of Sharia law. The direness of the situation cannot be overstated, and we cannot give up our single most effective point of leverage.”

The following House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans joined Rep. McCaul in sending the letter:

Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO)
Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL)
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN)
Rep. Mark Green (R-TN)
Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)
Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL)
Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA)
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY)
Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX)
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY)
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX)
Rep. Young Kim (R-CA)

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Secretary Yellen:

“We are writing to underscore the critical importance of maintaining the United States sanctions framework currently in place against the Taliban and associated forces. Just weeks prior to the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the United States has withdrawn and the Taliban has violently taken control of Afghanistan. As such, the Taliban is yet again primed to grant al Qaeda sufficient safe harbor within Afghanistan to rebuild strength and fulfill their intent to launch attacks on the U.S. homeland yet again.

With the withdrawal of all U.S. military forces and diplomatic personnel having been completed while Americans and thousands of our Afghan allies remain trapped on the ground, the Taliban holds all the cards. Despite the public statements that have been made, we urge you and the rest of the Biden Administration to maintain a very healthy dose of skepticism about what the Taliban’s intentions and abilities are. Our own people are in grave danger throughout Afghanistan, a massive refugee crisis is only continuing to grow as people flee the Taliban’s violent rule, and Afghan women and other vulnerable populations await their fate under the Taliban’s iron rod of Sharia law. The direness of the situation cannot be overstated, and we cannot give up our single most effective point of leverage.
With the Taliban’s capture of Kabul, their continued ties to al Qaeda and track record of horrific governance have become even more concerning. We must maintain what leverage this administration has left to not only secure the evacuation of our citizens, allies, and Afghan partners from the clutches of a terrorist group, but to prevent another atrocity on American shores like the tragic attacks on 9/11. We believe it necessary for the Treasury Department to maintain and potentially expand its current sanctions efforts targeting Taliban forces, leaders, and the third-party entities that fund them. It is imperative that no sanctions against the Taliban are lifted to ensure our national security and the security of our citizens and partners is protected.”

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