WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Biden administration is sticking to the Aug. 31 deadline to get Americans and Afghan refugees out of Afghanistan.
“The mission has been to end on the 31st. That is the assumption that we are working towards,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.
Kirby says the State Department is reaching out to Americans who are still in Afghanistan.
“To communicate to them, let them know what evacuation plans are possible,” Kirby said.
“We’re seeing increased pace and increased pace in the flight schedule in Kabul,” U.S. Army Major General “Hank” Taylor said.
And with the help of a global coalition, Taylor says more than 21,000 people were evacuated from Kabul in 24 hours.
“One aircraft left on or about every 45 minutes,” Taylor said.
The Taliban opposes any extension and says all foreign nationals must leave by the deadline. Lawmakers are worried.
“There’s no possible way that we can get every American that is still in Afghanistan out in the next seven days,” House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.
McCarthy says there should never be a time where the Taliban directs U.S actions.
“We should stay until every single American is able to get out of Afghanistan,” McCarthy said.
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) has concerns but is still hopeful about how things will look on Sept. 1.
“These people are on top of their game and they’re taking this enormously seriously, so I have a lot of faith that they’re going to get this right,” Cartwright said.