Pelosi appeared alongside San Francisco Mayor London Breed and other elected officials in an address touting President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda and its provisions geared towards helping women, including paid family leave and extending the child tax credit.
“When women succeed, America succeeds,” she declared.
Pelosi declined to mention during her speech the suicide bombing attacks in Kabul that killed 12 U.S. service members and injured 15 others earlier Thursday amid the U.S. military’s ongoing evacuation efforts there since the central Afghan government collapsed to the Taliban on Aug. 15.
Two explosions occurred outside the Harmid Karzai International Airport Thursday morning, one outside the airport’s Abbey Gate and a second near the Baron hotel, from where U.S. Army helicopters previously evacuated Americans into the airport.
Pelosi did issue a statement Thursday through her office addressing the bombings, saying the House “strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack” and mourns “the loss of every innocent life taken.”
“Since the end of July, over 100,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan with the assistance of the U.S. military and allied forces,” the statement read. “As we continue this process, Congress, on a bipartisan basis, remains deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. As we work with the Biden Administration to bring stability to the situation, Congress must continue to be kept closely informed, which is why I have requested that the Executive Branch continue to brief Members. At the same time, our Committees of Jurisdiction will continue to hold briefings on Afghanistan.”
Pelosi tweeted out her statement in the late afternoon, after her speech and after she had already dedicated four tweets to Women’s Equality Day and one to touting Biden’s agenda. Her statements on topics unrelated to Afghanistan drew a wave of angry responses from Republican members of Congress.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., a member of the House Committee on Armed Services, slammed Pelosi and President Biden for their silence, noting shortly before 3 p.m. that she tweeted about Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, but nothing about the American lives lost in Afghanistan.