A report published on Thursday alleged that the Biden administration was charging U.S. citizens for evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, and even more for non-citizens.
“Even though U.S. officials tell NatSec Daily and others that evacuation flights from Kabul will be free, people trying to catch a plane in the Afghan capital say differently,” Politico reported. “One person said State Department staff were seeking large payments — up to $2,000 — from American passengers and even more from non-U.S. citizens.”
Politico says that it confronted the State Department over the matter, which they said did not deny that it was happening.
“U.S. law requires that evacuation assistance to private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided ‘on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable,’” the spokesperson said. “The situation is extremely fluid, and we are working to overcome obstacles as they arise.”
“In other words, the Biden administration may request payments for evacuation flights,” the report added.
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) responded to the report by saying that she was creating legislation to ban the U.S. government from charging Americans for the flights.
“Biden created this crisis, now he wants to charge Americans who are desperately fleeing the Taliban? That’s wrong,” she wrote on Twitter. “We should not be making Americans pay for their ride to safety. I’m drafting legislation now to PROHIBIT the US government from charging Americans, period.”
Biden created this crisis, now he wants to charge Americans who are desperately fleeing the Taliban? That’s wrong. We should not be making Americans pay for their ride to safety. I’m drafting legislation now to PROHIBIT the US government from charging Americans, period. https://t.co/urYL9GYIfh
— Congresswoman Tenney (@RepTenney) August 19, 2021
State Department Spokesman Ned Price claimed to The Daily Caller that the administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan,” which contradicts what the State Department said over the weekend.
“Repatriation flights are not free, and passengers will be required to sign a promissory loan agreement and may not be eligible to renew their U.S. passports until the loan is repaid,” the administration said in a security alert issued on Saturday. “The cost may be $2,000USD or more per person.”
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