The House rejected legislation from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that would require President Joe Biden to withdraw most U.S. troops from Somalia in an April 27 vote.
Opponents of the legislation said it would hurt national security by making it harder to fight al-Shabaab, designated as a terrorist group by the United States over a decade ago.
House lawmakers, including its sponsor, claim that 900 U.S. troops in Somalia on an uncertain mission will never bring peace. Despite his claims, the House rejected the legislation, H.Con.Res.30, in a vote of 102-321.
Gaetz said during a floor discussion that to accept Biden’s decision last year to send soldiers back to Somalia, one would have to believe that 900 U.S. troops are what is going to save a country of 17 million from a hardened group of 7,000.
“I think that strains not only logic but our understanding of the history of Somalia,” Gaetz said during the floor debate on the bill.
“The future of Somalia must be determined by Somalia. And to the extent that foreign influences could be helpful, I would argue that the African Union is far better positioned to build a stronger sense of national identity and national unity among clans that have been warring in Somalia for generations than U.S. troops,” he added.