On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is placing a hold on eight State Department nominees put forward by President Joe Biden, citing his opposition to the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"The Missouri Republican, who has previously said he would hold up Biden's national security nominees over his misgivings about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, objected to eight of the nine nominations that Democrats sought to unanimously approve on Tuesday, saying he was doing so on behalf of himself as well as some of his GOP colleagues who had separate objections," reported Andrew Desiderio.
This stands in stark contrast to several months ago, when, as The New Republic noted, Hawley was one of the most strident voices in the Senate calling for Biden to honor former President Donald Trump's timetable to withdraw from Afghanistan — and indeed, pressured Trump himself.
"Majorities of Americans, including veterans of the war itself, have long called for an end to the war in Afghanistan," said Hawley in a letter to Trump's former Defense Secretary Christopher Miller. "Yet most of our nation's policymakers have ignored them. They are certainly entitled to keep advocating nation-building, but they have no right to force working Americans to pay the price for their agenda."
According to POLITICO, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, blasted Hawley's move, and "accused Republicans of jeopardizing U.S. national security and constraining the State Department as it tries to address major foreign policy challenges, including the refugee crisis stemming from the Afghanistan withdrawal."