Amid Afghanistan's first ever democratic transfer of power, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and seven other House Republicans visited the nation to thank U.S. troops and discuss the United States' continued role there.
"The Afghans are poised to elect a new government for the first time in their history. We must honor the sacrifices of the Americans and Afghans who have given so much to reach this point and continue our work together," Boehner said in a statement.
The speaker was joined by Education & Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minn.; Natural Resources Committee Chairman 'Doc' Hastings, R-Wash.; Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich; Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa; Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.; Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.; and Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark.
The group met with American troops stationed in Afghanistan, as well as Ambassador James B. Cunningham and General Joseph F. Dunford.
"The delegation sent a strong, unequivocal message that the House of Representatives wants to maintain a right-sized presence in Afghanistan to successfully complete the work that has been done to date, and to honor the sacrifice of thousands of troops and civilians, as well as their families," according to a release from the speaker's office.
According to Independent Election Commission chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani, preliminary estimates showed that about 7 million voters were at the polls on Saturday for the first round of voting. All of the frontrunners have promised to sign a security agreement with the United States that would allow thousands of foreign troops to remain in the country after 2014.