Republicans furious after news that part of $2.8 billion in Afghan humanitarian funding went to the Taliban

House Republicans are furious with the Biden administration over reports that tens of millions of dollars in U.S. humanitarian aid to Afghanistan may have ended up in the hands of the Taliban.

At a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing last week, Rep. Brian Mast, Republican of Florida, opened his chairman’s speech by listing several State Department expenditures he found either egregious, lacking appropriate oversight, or both.

Mast pointed out that $2.8 billion in humanitarian funding was reportedly directed to Afghanistan following the disastrous 2021 withdrawal that cost the lives of more than a dozen U.S. service members and led the Taliban to regain control of the government in Kabul.

After chastising the State Department over a $500,000 grant he said was intended to “promote atheism in Nepal,” Mast took aim at what would have happened to the billions the U.S. sent to help Afghan civilians after the overthrow of their country.

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“Another example is that the Biden administration has sent more than $2.8 billion to Afghanistan since the Taliban took power in August 2021. The report shows that tens of millions of dollars of this money goes directly between the hands of the Taliban,” Mast said: calling these examples “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to incompetent federal appropriations.

In May, Rep. Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement on a federal inspector general’s findings that at least $10.9 million in American taxpayer funds were at least indirectly paid to the Taliban.

“It is unacceptable that American funding benefits the Taliban,” McCaul said.

“The Biden administration must take immediate action to prevent American taxpayer dollars from going to the Taliban,” McCaul said in a statement praising the latest work of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) .

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SIGAR was established in 2008. Its latest report finds that the nearly $11 million paid by State Department entities and other partners was “likely only a fraction” of what the Taliban ultimately received in forms such as taxes, fees, duties and utilities.

In his remarks, Mast called the issue of financing Afghanistan, along with his other cited examples, “the epitome of ‘America Last.’ »

“Our country is competing for influence all over the world with China, Russia, Iran and other enemies,” Mast said.

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Previously, the State Department had pushed back against claims that it intended to promote atheism in the Himalayas, as highlighted in Mast’s second barb.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma testified before Congress in March that after reviewing the grant and its materials, promoting atheism was not the purpose of the grant and “that is not what it is for.” what would the work be for?

Fox News Digital has contacted the White House and State Department for further comment.

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