: Biden to keep Aug. 31 Afghanistan withdrawal deadline


President Joe Biden on Tuesday decided to keep his Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan, following a meeting with other leaders of the Group of Seven nations.

Biden “confirmed we are currently on pace to finish by August 31st and provided an update on progress in evacuating Americans who want to come home, third-country nationals, and Afghans who were our allies during the war,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Biden is scheduled to address the Afghanistan situation at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

G-7 leaders are reported to have pressed press Biden to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond the Aug. 31 deadline, to allow more time to evacuate those who want to leave.

Biden also asked his national security team for contingency plans to adjust the timeline, “should that become necessary,” Psaki said.

A Taliban spokesman said Tuesday that the U.S. must evacuate people from Afghanistan by the 31st, and that the group would accept “no extensions.”

As MarketWatch reports, global financial markets

have been largely unmoved by developments in Afghanistan. But the chaotic U.S. exit from the country is heightening underlying geopolitical risks, and, according to some analysts, potentially clouding the outlook for Biden’s legislative agenda.

Read: Investors ignore Afghanistan, but risk levels are on the rise

Also see: Pelosi says House Democrats ‘close’ on vote for Biden’s infrastructure and social-spending packages

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a group of Democratic centrists were reportedly finalizing a deal that would clear the way for passage of a $3.5 trillion budget framework and set a Sept. 27 House vote on infrastructure. Both sides hope such a deal will end a weekslong standoff, as Politico wrote.

The House’s top Republican, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, said it’s impossible to finish a withdrawal by Aug. 31 and urged lawmakers to focus solely on Afghanistan “until every American’s out.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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