But, said Pelosi, officials from the state and defense departments had urged lawmakers not to visit the highly volatile region “during this time of danger.”
“Members’ travel to Afghanistan and surrounding countries would unnecessarily divert necessary resources from the priority mission of quickly and safely evacuating the United States and at-risk Afghans from Afghanistan,” Pelosi said in a letter Tuesday. evening.
Meijer and Moulton said their trip was “to gather information, not to present themselves”.
Responding to concerns about their use of resources, the two said they “left on a plane with empty seats, sitting in seats reserved for the crew to ensure that no one who needed a seat. ‘loses one because of our presence “.
The trips come as the White House, military and diplomatic officials embark on a massive and dangerous airlift campaign across the country that saw the sudden collapse of its US-backed government last week. The situation quickly deteriorated on the ground as the Taliban tighten their grip on the country.
Asked about the note, Pelosi later told reporters that a “large number” of members had asked about the trips.
Neither of the lawmaker’s offices responded to a request for comment on the trip, which was first reported by The Associated Press.
Moulton and Meijer both voted by proxy on Tuesday. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) Voted by proxy for Moulton, and Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah) voted for Meijer.
Moulton was one of the most critical members of Biden’s own party to speak out.
“To say that today is nothing but a disaster would be dishonest. Worse, it was preventable, ”Moulton, a navy who served four terms in Iraq, said in a statement last week.
Katherine Tully-McManus contributed to this report.