GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are reacting to President Joe Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan, packages going through Congress and voting rights.
Biden addressed the nation Tuesday afternoon and said he intends to stick to his Aug. 31 deadline to have all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, says the country needs to focus getting all Americans who want to leave out safely.
“Getting them out safely. I met this morning with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence in a briefing to go through all these details. And the focus has to be entirely on getting the logistical support, the flight support, the military personnel in place,” Kildee said.
He said securing the area around the airport so that there are no obstacles is important.
“So, this is a logistical challenge. This is the biggest evacuation really in decades that the United States Military, U.S. government has been involved with,” Kildee said. “And obviously, there’ve been some real problems, but we’ve got to get through it.”
With a lot going on in Washington this week, one of the biggest topics is infrastructure, including a package pending in the House.
“Well, the deal that we were able to secure today guarantees … that the House will vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill. And I think that’s really important,” Kildee said. “You know, there are things that we can do that are bipartisan. There are some things that we want to do that just can’t.”
Kildee also talked about voting rights, including the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which passed the House Tuesday evening.
“Essentially, what it will do is ensure that any of those jurisdictions, states, counties, municipalities that have a history of discriminatory actions against people who are just trying to cast their vote, and this is mostly discriminatory actions based on race,” he said. “Those sorts of actions will cause those jurisdictions to have to get preclearance from the Justice Department before making any changes in their voting procedures.”