Wisconsin Representative Bryan Steil (R-01-WI) is questioning why the Biden administration shuttered the Trump era Contingency and Crisis Response (CCR) Bureau prior to withdrawing from Afghanistan. Steil co-wrote a letter to the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with another Representative, saying that he believes the decision to shut down the CCR made the Afghanistan situation worse.
The letter expressed Steil’s concern that the State Department refused to answer questions regarding the closure of the CCR. The letter was also co-signed by Jim Banks (R-03-IN). They expressed concerns that the closure of the department prior to the withdrawal was “unacceptable” and played a part in the failure to fully evacuate Americans and allies.
They wrote that right now there is an emergency where it would be prudent and necessary to utilize the CCR Bureau in order to rescue stranded Americans and allies from Afghanistan. The letter says “the decision to shut down this program only months before a rushed withdrawal has led to dire consequences and is unacceptable.”
Banks and Steil gave Blinken until September 3 at 5:30 p.m. to respond with “copies of all documents, communications, memoranda, and notes” relating to the closure of the CCR and the names of officials with the State Department who recommended shutting down the CCR.
According to a tweet from Steil, as of Friday afternoon, the documents have not yet been handed over. He said he demands “that all related documents be turned over to Congress.”
Last week I wrote Sec. Blinken demanding an immediate explanation as to why the Contingency & Crisis Response Bureau was shut down just months before the botched withdrawal in Afghanistan. I demand that all related documents be turned over to Congress. https://t.co/rXhTcmgZtb
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) September 2, 2021
In the letter, Steil and Banks demand an “immediate explanation” regarding how the closure of the CCR has impacted the Afghanistan evacuation process be given to Congress. As of Saturday evening, it does not appear as if Secretary Blinken has acquiesced to Steil and Banks’ request. Steil did not respond to The Star News Network‘s request for comment regarding the situation or his next steps regarding the release of the desired information.
– – –
Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].