Under pressure, State Dept. scraps plan to bill Kabul evacuees $2K for flights

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The State Department was forced to scrap a widely excoriated plan to bill US citizens $2,000 or more for their evacuation flights from Kabul. The hefty price tag drew social media outrage Thursday after it gained public notice. “In these unique circumstances, we have no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement provided to The Post. The cost was publicly posted to a State Department website on Saturday but went largely unnoticed before it was highlighted by Politico’s military-focused newsletter Thursday. An unnamed State Department spokesman initially stood by the charge, telling Politico that “U.S. law requires that evacuation assistance to private U.S. citizens or third country nationals be provided ‘on a reimbursable basis to the maximum extent practicable.’” But the cost drew widespread condemnation. In one widely circulated tweet, Heritage Foundation communications director John Cooper tweeted, “Oh, you’d like to escape the Taliban? That’ll be one month’s rent, please.”

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