Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) floated the idea of removing President Joe Biden from office Monday after Afghanistan fell to a Taliban onslaught during the U.S. pullout of the country.
“Inflation is raging. The debt ceiling expired & U.S. debt is headed to $45 TRILLION. Kabul is falling to the Taliban & encounters in the #BidenBorderCrisis just hit a 20 YEAR HIGH. Democrats control the House, Senate & @WhiteHouse. What in the world is Joe Biden doing?” Scott tweeted last week.
On Monday, he quoted the same tweet while adding: “After the disastrous events in Afghanistan, we must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment?”
After the disastrous events in Afghanistan, we must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment? https://t.co/l1bFrUdZH9
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) August 16, 2021
The 25th Amendment allows for the president to be stripped of authority if the vice president and a majority of cabinet members tell Congress that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” The amendment has historically been used in cases of medical emergency.
Afghanistan’s government fell over the weekend as the Taliban conducted a military blitz across the country, capturing major cities, military installations, and eventually the capital of Kabul within just a few days. The U.S. military has overseen a chaotic evacuation of personnel, diplomatic staff, American citizens, and Afghan refugees from Karzai International Airport.
Amid mounting criticism, Biden flew back to Washington, D.C., on Monday from Camp David, where he was on vacation. In a short speech, Biden directly addressed the situation in Afghanistan, simultaneously saying that he bore responsibility for the chaotic pullout while claiming that former President Donald Trump had forced his decision and passing blame on the Afghan military and government for falling to the Taliban.
“When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021 – just a little over three months after I took office,” Biden said. “The choice I had to make as your president was to either follow through on that agreement, or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season.”
“There was no status quo of stability without American casualties after May 1,” he continued. “There was only the cold reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces, or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more American troops back into combat in Afghanistan, lurching into the third decade of conflict.”
“I always promised the American people that I would be straight with you. The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” Biden continued. “So what’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, some without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforce that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war, and dying in a war, that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”