WASHINGTON - Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Republican Leader of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on Afghanistan:

“The fall of Afghanistan into the hands of the Taliban just weeks before the 20th anniversary of September 11th is a tragedy that will have many impacts, both short and long term.

“What we must focus on immediately is the safe evacuation of American citizens and the brave Afghans and their families who risked their lives alongside our troops. The Congress recently spoke in a bipartisan fashion and provided over a billion dollars to prioritize the evacuation of the thousands of Afghans who assisted the U.S. Government, and it is essential that this mission be conducted in a manner that is swift that does not jeopardize safety and security. I agree with former President Bush that we have the responsibility and the resources to secure safe passage for them now, without bureaucratic delay.

“As the lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, I believe it is crucial we look at the facts on the ground and make the best decisions we can moving forward from the tragic, chaotic scenes we see unfolding after almost twenty years of investment in Afghanistan. We must keep the members of the U.S. military, diplomatic corps, intelligence community, and the Afghan people in our thoughts and prayers.”