Democrat Congressman Calls On Austin To Resign
Democratic Congressman Chris Deluzio of Pennsylvania is calling for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to resign over his lack of transparency regarding his recent medical treatment.
Deluzio, who is an Iraq War veteran and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement on Wednesday stating that he has lost trust in Austin's leadership of the Defense Department. He cites the secretary's failure to disclose his cancer diagnosis and its impact on the chain of command as the primary reason for his call to resign.
In his statement, Deluzio acknowledges Austin's years of dedicated service and wishes him a speedy recovery. However, he believes that as a member of Congress, it is his duty to oversee the Defense Department and that duty requires him to call for Austin's resignation. This comes as a major blow to the Biden administration, as Deluzio is the first Democrat in Congress to call for Austin to step down.
The controversy surrounding Austin's medical treatment began on Tuesday when it was revealed that President Joe Biden was not informed about his secretary's cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery. This has raised questions about Biden's awareness of the whereabouts of his own defense secretary, especially during a time when the U.S. military is involved in several conflicts and facing regular attacks from various groups.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed their frustration with the breakdown in communication between Biden and Austin. They point out that as the only two members with National Command Authority, or the ability to give military orders, this lack of transparency is concerning at such a critical time. Deluzio's call for Austin's resignation only adds to the growing pressure on the Biden administration.
There is no denying that the timing of this controversy is problematic. The U.S. military is actively involved in supporting Israel and Ukraine in their conflicts, as well as dealing with ongoing attacks in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed groups.
Meanwhile, there have been multiple incidents of attacks on U.S. warships and commercial vessels in the Red Sea by Houthi rebels. With such high stakes and tensions, it is crucial for the president and his defense secretary to be on the same page.
Austin's lack of transparency has also raised concerns about the continuity of the chain of command in the event of an emergency. As the leader of the Defense Department, it is his responsibility to keep the president informed at all times. However, his failure to disclose his medical condition has called into question his ability to handle his duties effectively and has eroded the trust of lawmakers like Deluzio.
In response to Deluzio's call for his resignation, Austin has issued a statement thanking the congressman for his service and stating that he is committed to working with all members of Congress. However, he has not directly addressed the issue of his lack of transparency and the impact it may have on his leadership of the Defense Department.
As this controversy continues to unfold, it is clear that there needs to be more open communication between the Biden administration and Congress. Austin's lack of transparency regarding his medical treatment has raised serious concerns about the chain of command and the ability of the U.S. military to effectively carry out its missions.
It remains to be seen how the Biden administration will handle this growing pressure to address this issue and maintain the trust of the American people.