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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Sen. Marsha Blackburn speaks during the Hamilton County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Westin Hotel on Friday, April 26, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

NASHVILLE —U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn is calling on President Joe Biden to resign while fellow Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty is accusing the president of "hiding from his duty and shirking responsibility" after Thursday's deadly terrorist bombing outside Afghanistan's main airport that left 13 U.S. service members dead while killing dozens of Afghans.

Tennessee Republican congressmen have also jumped in to express sorrow for victims while slamming Biden. The list includes U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann of Ooltewah and Scott DesJarlais of Sherwood.

In Georgia, Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Rome renewed earlier calls to impeach Biden.

"It's time for Congress to hold this administration accountable," Greene tweeted Friday. "Joe Biden must be impeached. Immediately."

Democrats like U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville are avoiding criticisms of Biden while offering sympathy for the dead and support for survivors in Thursday's suicide bomber attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. It came as thousands of Afghans seek to flee the nation amid the takeover of the country by the Taliban as the U.S. military prepares to leave.

In her statement, Blackburn said she was "devastated to hear about the servicemembers who lost their lives today. We owe a debt of gratitude to them for their sacrifice and pray for comfort for their families."

She added, "It's time for accountability, starting with those whose failed planning allowed these attacks to occur. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley should all resign or face impeachment and removal from office."

Hagerty, former President Donald Trump's U.S. ambassador to Japan, said his heart "grieves for the families and loved ones of these brave heroes who have now made the ultimate sacrifice. Sadly, it did not have to be this way, but it is exactly what I have feared as we have watched the chaotic and dire scenes around the airport in Kabul.

"This moment requires decisive American leadership and strength, but sadly President Biden is hiding from his duty and shirking responsibility," Hagerty added in the statement.

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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., speaks during a news conference after a tour at the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

Noting it was the deadliest day in Afghanistan since 2011, Fleischmann said the situation "has been directly caused by the actions taken by President Biden and his national security team. Now, American lives have been lost due to this Commander in Chief's incompetent and rushed withdrawal."

Fleischmann said that for weeks, "the military, intelligence community and members of Congress from both parties have begged President Biden to increase the security perimeter at the airport and not rely on the Taliban to protect Americans trying to evacuate the country. President Biden must throw out his self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline and commit to rescuing every single American currently stranded in Afghanistan. Anything less is a disgrace to our nation."

DesJarlais, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, called the bombing and chaos a "failure of the Biden administration." Offering condolences to the families of soldiers killed, the congressman said he supports a call by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for Congress to come back into session.

Cooper, also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said he is "closely monitoring the situation in Kabul" and his office "has been working tirelessly to assist with the safe evacuation of Americans and our Afghan partners.

"We will continue to do so until every American and individual eligible for evacuation is out of harm's way," Cooper said.

In a social media post, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., called the attack "heartbreaking. Sending love and hope for healing to the families of the 12 American servicemembers killed. ... We honor the ultimate sacrifice of your loved ones, and as a nation we are with you during this difficult time."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, R-Ga., as calling the bombing a "cowardly and despicable terrorist attack" while avoiding criticism of Biden.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @AndySher1.

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