Van Drew: Censure Biden for ‘terrible disgrace’ in Afghanistan
TRENTON – A party-switching South Jersey congressman who last week called for President Joe Biden to resign over the chaotic troop withdrawal in Afghanistan is now introducing legislation calling for Biden to be censured.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-Cape May Court House, who switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in opposition to the first impeachment of then-President Donald Trump in 2020, said he is introducing a concurrent resolution with a dozen colleagues that condemns Biden for a reckless decision to withdraw troops in an unorganized manner.
“This is a very dark time for our country,” Van Drew said. “The way that President Biden has handled the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is a terrible disgrace. Too many lives, limbs and minds have been lost fighting to keep our great nation safe.
“President Biden must be held accountable for his actions,” he said. “He has put our American citizens and Afghan allies at risk, threatened our national security, and allowed the Taliban to take possession of American weapons – just weeks before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”
An attack by an Islamic State, or ISIS-K, suicide bomber at the airport in Kabul on Thursday killed 13 United States service members and 79 Afghans who were trying to leave the country ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline set by Biden.
“This leadership is not ensuring our country's safety, instead it is giving in to the Taliban's demands and making us look weak on the world stage,” Van Drew said. “President Biden's decisions are not only a disgrace, but they are un-American.”
A censure would be a less aggressive step than impeachment, as some Republicans are seeking.
Van Drew last week called for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to resign. He also said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Senate president should resign – though may have been focused on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, not Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy, who holds that position as the member of the majority party with the most seniority.
Van Drew, a former state legislator, was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 2018 with 53% of the vote. He joined the Republican Party midway through his first term, amid the first impeachment of Trump, and Trump held a campaign rally in his district in Wildwood as a result.
Van Drew won re-election last year with 52% of the vote.
The 2nd Congressional District covers all or part of eight counties in South Jersey. The boundaries of the district will have to expand in redistricting, as the 2020 Census found the population to be 41,606 short of the equal size needed for the 12 districts. That’s the largest gap in the state.
Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.