Republicans fume over report part of $2.8B Afghan humanitarian funding went to Taliban

House Republicans are fuming at the Biden administration over reports that tens of millions of dollars of U.S. humanitarian aid to Afghanistan may have ended up in Taliban hands.

During a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing last week, Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., opened his chairman’s remarks by listing off several State Department expenditures he found either egregious, lacking proper oversight or both.

Mast pointed to a reported $2.8 billion in humanitarian funding being directed to Afghanistan following the disastrous 2021 withdrawal that claimed the lives of more than a dozen American service members and led to the Taliban retaking control of the Kabul government.placeholder

After admonishing the State Department over a $500,000 grant he characterized as going to “promote atheism in Nepal,” Mast took aim at what reportedly happened to the billions the U.S. sent to help Afghan civilians after their country was upturned.Video

“Another example is that the Biden administration has sent more than $2.8 billion to Afghanistan since the Taliban took power in August of 2021. The report shows tens of millions of dollars of that money going directly into the hands of the Taliban,” Mast said, calling the examples the “tip of the iceberg” in incompetent federal appropriations.

In May, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement on a federal inspector general’s findings that at least $10.9 million in U.S. taxpayer funds were at least indirectly provided to the Taliban.

“It is unacceptable for any U.S. funding to benefit the Taliban,” McCaul said.

“The Biden administration must take immediate action to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from going to the Taliban,” McCaul said in a statement praising the latest work of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

SIGAR was originally established in 2008. Its latest report found the nearly $11 million paid by State Department entities and other partners was “likely only a fraction” of what the Taliban ultimately received in forms like taxes, fees, duties and utilities.

In his remarks, Mast called the Afghanistan funding issue along with his other cited examples “the epitome of ‘America Last.’”

“Our country is competing for influence all across the globe with China, Russia and Iran and other enemies,” Mast said.

Previously, the State Department pushed back on claims it intended to promote atheism in the Himalayas, as Mast’s second barb highlighted.

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma testified before Congress in March that after looking at the grant and its materials, that promoting atheism was not what the grant was meant for and “that is not what the work would be for.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House and State Department for further comment.

Republicans fume over report part of $2.8B Afghan humanitarian funding went to Taliban