Aug 31, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate passes bill to expand assistance for Americans returning from Afghanistan

An US Air Force aircraft takes off from the airport in Kabul on August 30, 2021

A U.S. Air Force aircraft takes off from the airport in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Aamir Qureshi /AFP via Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will increase funding available to provide temporary assistance to Americans returning from Afghanistan.

Why it matters: The bill — approved by the House last month — will allocate up to $10 million for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to provide emergency repatriation assistance to individuals coming from Afghanistan, CNN reports.

Driving the news: Vice President Kamala Harris presided over a session of the Senate Tuesday during which the Emergency Repatriation Assistance for Returning Americans Act passed unanimously.

  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) requested unanimous consent to pass the bill in the Senate.

What they're saying: Cardin said Tuesday the legislation increases "the funds that are available to take care of Americans who have been brought home from Afghanistan."

  • "They've been uprooted, they were living in Afghanistan, so to take care of their necessities on a short-term basis. It might be housing, ... food, transportation, those sorts of issues on a short-term basis," Cardin said, per CNN.

The big picture: Passage of the bill comes less than one day after the final American soldier departed Afghanistan.

What's next: Biden is set to address the nation Tuesday afternoon about the conclusion of the war.

  • The bill now heads to his desk for his approval.
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