Pelosi’s Texas visit draws GOP backlash amid Afghanistan crisis
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traveled to Texas this week to tout health care aspects of the Biden administration’s “Build Back Better” agenda – but a Republican spokeswoman said her timing was all wrong.
After a deadly Kabul airport attack in Afghanistan left 13 U.S. service members dead last month, the San Francisco Democrat’s services were needed more in Washington than in Austin, the GOP spokeswoman said.
“It’s inappropriate and insensitive for Nancy Pelosi to be promoting the Democrats’ agenda when Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan,” said Macarena Martinez of the Republican National Committee (RNC), according to KXAN-TV of Austin.
“Pelosi should get back to Washington, D.C., convene Congress and demand answers for Biden’s failed withdrawal in Afghanistan.”
Republicans and even some Democrats have accused the Biden administration of poor planning regarding the pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan after a two-decade presence. As U.S. troop numbers dropped, Taliban fighters gained control of large portions of the country, culminating in the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on Aug. 15.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 22, 2021. (Associated Press)
Then came the frantic effort to evacuate American citizens and others from the Kabul airport – and the Aug. 26 terror attack that killed dozens of Afghans in addition to the 13 U.S. troops.
But on Thursday in Austin, Pelosi – accompanied by Texas U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett and Austin Mayor Steve Adler – criticized Texas Republicans for making the state one of 12 in the nation that do not offer expanded Medicaid services, KXAN reported.
“It’s almost an immorality to say, ‘I will not accept money from the federal government for 100% paying for Medicaid. My decision is, I will cut millions of people in my state,’” Pelosi said.
During the same Texas visit, Pelosi also took aim at Texas’ new abortion law, pledging to help bolster the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, which legal experts say is threatened by the court’s recent decision to allow the new Texas law to stand.
Late Friday, a Texas state judge issued a temporary restraining order shielding the state’s abortion clinics from lawsuits permitted under the new law. A hearing in relation to the case is scheduled for Sept. 13, The Associated Press reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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