Nearly two dozen House and Senate Republicans on Thursday called for President Joe Biden to resign or be removed over a terrorist attack in Kabul that killed at least a dozen U.S. service members, as tensions between Biden and Republicans in Congress have worsened amid the U.S. withdrawal of troops from the region.
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), both frequent Biden critics, issued statements on Thursday calling on Biden to resign, with Blackburn also calling for Vice President Kamala Harris and other Cabinet officials to step down as well.
At least 20 House Republicans called for Biden to resign or be impeached on Thursday, including Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in January and now faces a dozen pro-Trump primary challengers.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who has been pushing for impeachment since Biden took office and recently introduced three more impeachment resolutions, sought to take advantage by blasting out a campaign fundraising email on Thursday from the “Joe Biden Impeachment Committee.”
Others stopped just short of calling for Biden to resign: Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said Biden should “resign immediately” if he doesn’t “face the American people” and “address questions on how we will respond to this massacre,” which he did Thursday evening.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the two explosions that the Pentagon said left at least 12 U.S. troops dead and another 15 injured, in addition to the reported deaths of dozens of Afghans. Biden and Pentagon leaders said the U.S. military will continue undeterred in its mission to evacuate Americans and Afghans applying for special immigrant visas by August 31.
“It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan,” former President Donald Trump said in a statement on August 15, a day after the fall of Kabul. The ex-president still holds considerable sway over his party.
“This is a day where US service members, twelve of them, lost their lives at the hands of terrorists. It is not a day for politics,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a briefing on Thursday. She added, “We would expect that any American, whether they’re elected or not, would stand with us in our commitment to… killing those terrorists wherever they live and to honor the memory of service members.”
If Blackburn’s call for Biden and Harris to resign was, improbably, heeded, a Democrat would still be in charge. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is next in the line of succession after Harris, followed by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), the president pro tempore of the Senate.