News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement after the U.S. military ended its presence in Afghanistan yesterday.  

“While the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan has ended, our responsibility to honor those who have served and sacrificed for our country, to aid those still trapped in Afghanistan, to provide the public a clear picture of the past 20 years of conflict, and to welcome our Afghan allies to the United States, has only just begun.”

“I am deeply grateful to our servicemembers and their families who put their lives on the line over the last two decades, and to those who sacrificed everything in service to our country—including the 13 servicemembers killed just days ago. I am in awe of each hero who worked tirelessly over the past weeks to protect and evacuate as many Americans, allies, and Afghan partners as possible under brutal circumstances.

“Moving forward, I strongly support the Biden administration using all diplomatic channels to aid American citizens and our Afghan partners who want to leave the country. My office will keep doing all we can to assist those seeking safe passage. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I will fight to ensure our nation does everything in its power to support our servicemembers and their families, and ensure they have the care and resources they need. Finally, we need thorough Congressional oversight into the past 20 years of our military presence in Afghanistan to fully learn the harsh lessons of this war and avoid repeating its mistakes.

“As an elected official and the proud daughter of a WWII veteran, I recognize that the end of a war means the beginning of a long road for so many—servicemembers, veterans, military families, refugees—and I am fully committed to doing all I can to honor the two decades of courage, service, and sacrifice dedicated to this mission now that it has concluded.”

Senator Murray has urged the administration to expedite evacuations and welcome duly vetted Afghan allies and partners with open arms, called for the urgent evacuation of Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and their families, as well as the full and immediate implementation of legislation included in the supplemental security spending measure, which Senator Murray voted for, to expand the Afghan SIV program and streamline the application process, and urged the Biden administration to take swift, robust action to protect and support Afghan women leaders facing unparalleled danger following the Taliban’s violent sweep across Afghanistan and seizure of Kabul. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray helped shepherd the Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 through the Senate earlier this year, which included provisions to accelerate the application process for SIVs. Senator Murray has also pushed for more funding for the SIV process through the appropriations process in order to clear the backlog.

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