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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Introduces Flights for Freedom Act to Ensure Americans Stuck in Afghanistan Don't Pay Thousands

August 24, 2021

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has introduced the Flights for Freedom Act, which ensures that the United States government will not charge U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents for evacuation or repatriation flights out of Afghanistan now or any time in the future. Last week, it was reported that the Department of State was requiring Americans to sign promissory loan agreements of up to $2,000 for their evacuation flights out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. After Congresswoman Tenney led public opposition to this plan, the Biden Administration relented and stated that it would not charge Americans for repatriation flights. This legislation would ensure that the administration holds true to its word.

"The thousands of Americans left behind in Afghanistan by the Biden Administration already fear for their lives. They should not be forced by the U.S. government to finance their own lifesaving flights out of the country. My bill, the Flights for Freedom Act, ensures the federal government will not go back on its promise and solicit or collect payments from Americans who were forced to evacuate Afghanistan. Biden’s unilateral and reckless retreat has been disastrous from day one, and American citizens on the ground are already facing serious challenges. We must not add insult to injury."

The legislation is also being cosponsored by Representatives Brian Mast (FL-18) and Tom Tiffany (WI-07). 

Section by Section:

  • The bill requires the Secretary of State to waive any expenses related to the evacuation and repatriation of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents for the withdrawal from Afghanistan. 
     
  • Annuls any promissory note or obligation made to repay the costs of evacuation and repatriation of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents for the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
     
  • Prohibits any federal official or employee from soliciting or accepting funds for evacuation and repatriation of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents for the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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