Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Murphy, House Veterans Affairs Committee Press For Hearing On Veteran Mental Health Amid Biden’s ‘Failed Withdrawal’

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican North Carolina Rep. Greg Murphy and Republicans on the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC) sent a Tuesday letter to Chairman Mark Takano, asking him to immediately reconvene the committee to hold a hearing on how President Joe Biden’s withdraw from Afghanistan impacted veterans’ mental health.

The Daily Caller first obtained the letter Murphy sent alongside seven other Republicans on the committee, slamming Biden for his “failed withdrawal from Afghanistan,” saying it could likely have a psychological impact on veterans in the U.S. and particularly those who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 20 years.

“As our nation bears witness to President Biden’s failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, our nation’s veterans are being bombarded with devastating images of retreat resulting in the loss of life and liberty. As a result, many veterans have understandably expressed fear, stress, disdain, or regret about their service, worrying if their sacrifices and the loss of their fellow servicemembers occurred in vain,” the group wrote in the letter.

The crisis helpline, controlled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has reportedly seen an increase in the number of people calling in since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, according to Insider.

“As we mourn the sacrifice that our selfless soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are making in Kabul, we are deeply concerned about the psychological impact that this foreign policy disaster is having on our nation’s veterans at home. With this in mind, we urge you to bring the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC) back to Washington, D.C. immediately to conduct a full committee hearing on the short and long-term implications of this devasting debacle on veteran mental health and ensure veterans are aware of the many resources VA has to offer them during this challenging time,” they continued.

The group of Republicans also called on the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to be a witness before the committee.

“The hearing should include Secretary McDonough, leaders from the veteran community like the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and individual servicemembers and veterans who can speak to the immediate and long-term effects of the stress and trauma they are undergoing,” the group added.

READ THE LETTER HERE: 

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

Before sending the letter, Murphy told the Daily Caller that he is hearing from veterans every day who are expressing concern about what is happening with Afghanistan withdrawal and more. (RELATED: ‘Biden Has Signed Death Warrant For Thousands’: Lindsey Graham Goes Off On Biden Over Afghanistan Withdrawal Debacle)

“As a physician of more than 30 years, I am deeply concerned about the psychological impact that President Biden’s failed withdrawal is having on veterans and active-duty service members across the country. I represent over 89,000 veterans in North Carolina’s Third District, which includes Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune,” Murphy told the Caller.

“Every day I am hearing from veterans and their loved ones who express serious concern regarding ongoing events in Afghanistan. It’s heartbreaking, especially considering that this self-inflicted crisis is the result of Biden’s failed foreign policy. As members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC), we have an obligation to provide resources for our veterans and assure them that they are not alone. There is never any shame in asking for help. I urge Chairman Takano to call our committee back to Washington immediately so we can hear from experts and discuss much-needed veteran mental health services in the wake of this crisis — we simply cannot afford to wait,” he added.

Murphy was joined by Republican Reps. Mike Bost of Illinois, Jack Bergman of Michigan, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Jake Ellzey of Texas and Barry Moore of Alabama. (RELATED: President Biden To Address Nation On Afghanistan Withdrawal Tuesday)

Biden will address the nation on military withdrawal from Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced late Monday. Biden’s withdrawal left more than 200 U.S. citizens stranded in Afghanistan under Taliban control.

The Daily Caller contacted Takano’s office to see if he would consider bringing the committee back into session, to which they did not immediately respond.