Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
July 22, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) spoke on the House Floor this morning in support of the ALLIES Act, legislation to expedite the visa process for Afghan allies who supported American troops, diplomats, development professionals, and partner forces in Afghanistan. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
 
Click here to watch the video. 
 
“Madam Speaker, I want to thank my friend, Rep. [Jason] Crow, for his leadership on this issue and in offering this legislation. Rep. Crow is one of the members of this House from a new generation of service, who wore the uniform of our country in the post-9/11 conflicts. These veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, like Rep. Crow, understand what we must do to support the friends who stood with us, who risked their lives and the lives of their families to aid their American partners.

“The mission of our armed forces in Afghanistan over the past twenty years has been clear: destroy the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and deny Al-Qaeda a safe haven from which to threaten global security and our country. Today, Osama Bin Laden is dead, and Al-Qaeda has been routed. Our troops are now coming home. The fate of Afghanistan will surely be determined by the Afghan people. And America will continue to support the Afghan government and its security forces, but it is up to them to show the Taliban that there is no military solution to their present conflict.

“As American personnel return from Afghanistan, that country’s civil war will continue, and we cannot leave our Afghan partners behind. No one has any illusions about the what the Taliban would do if they had their way – and what they will do in those places they already control. There can be no doubt the punishment they would inflict on Afghans who stood alongside the United States and our allies. We can only imagine the horrors that would befall their families in retribution.

“This legislation recognizes that these Afghan allies have earned safety in our country for themselves and for their loved-ones. It would expand the visa program and expedite processing to help ensure there is a path to America for Afghans who worked side by side with our troops, our diplomats, our development professionals, and our partner forces in carrying out our missions there. While President Biden is already taking executive action to bring some of these allies here, legislation is needed to ensure that all of them can make it safely out of harm’s way.

“I urge all of my colleagues to vote for this bill today. Each vote is not only an assent for this sound policy but a gesture of our appreciation for the service of our allies. Let this vote remind the world that our country’s steadiest foundation, our highest ideal, remains our bond of friendship, loyalty, and trust. Let us remind our friends and foes alike that Americans keep faith with our allies.

“I ask my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike: vote for this bill. Keep faith with those who placed their faith in us and in the ideas we cherish and defend. Vote ‘yes.’”