News

House votes Benghazi panel, Dems consider boycott

House votes Benghazi panel, Dems consider boycott

BENGHAZI:Speaker of the House John Boehner is asked about the special select committee he has formed to investigate the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, raising the stakes in a political battle with the Obama administration as the midterm election season heats up, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 8. The National Republican Congressional Committee has issued a fundraising pitch on its website asking people to become a "Benghazi Watchdog" by donating money to GOP election efforts. Boehner has said that the examination would be "all about getting to the truth" of the Obama administration's response to the attack and would not be a partisan, election-year circus. Photo: Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican-run House of Representatives voted along party lines on Thursday to set up a committee to investigate the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Unhappy Democrats were considering boycotting the panel.

The House voted 232-186 to set up a 12-member special investigative committee. It is expected to be chaired by South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy and include seven Republicans and five Democrats.

Democrats had sought an evenly divided panel, but Republicans prevailed with the argument that they should have a majority on the committee because they were elected to majority status in the House.

Armed militants attacked U.S. diplomatic posts in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, killing U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Republicans accuse the administration of doing too little to repulse the attacks and later creating a smokescreen around the events to protect President Barack Obama’s image as tough on terrorism and help boost his re-election chances in November 2012.

Although there have been numerous investigations by congressional committees and a State Department “Accountability Review Board,” Republicans say the Obama administration has not provided all the relevant information about the reasons for the attacks and how the administration responded to them.

“Our committees sought the full truth and the administration tried to make sure they wouldn’t find it,” House Speaker John Boehner told lawmakers before Thursday’s vote. “Which meant they tried to prevent the American people from finding the truth as well.”

Democrats say Republicans are continuing to focus on the Benghazi attacks for political reasons, especially to harm the reputation of Hillary Clinton, a potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate who was secretary of state at the time of the Benghazi attacks.

“One more committee weighted in favor of the majority is not going to do any better. We have bottomed out on Benghazi,” said Representative Louise Slaughter of New York.

She expressed outrage that some Republicans were using Benghazi to raise campaign funds: “Have you no shame?”

Democrats said they were undecided on whether to take part in the panel so long as the ratio of Democrats to Republicans is not even. Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said Democrats had made some proposals to Boehner’s office for other ways to ensure fairness in the committee.

“We’ve suggested if you don’t have even numbers, you could still ensure bipartisan support for subpoenas and other informational requests,” Van Hollen said.

Representative John Lewis Of Georgia said: “We’re still debating, but I lean toward participating. We should be at the table. We should be in the room.”

Representative Adam Schiff of California, however, said, “I don’t think we should” participate.

The resolution said the committee would investigate “all policies, decisions an activities that contributed to the attacks on United States facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, as well as those that affected the ability of the United States to prepare for the attacks.”

The panel would also probe the response, as well as internal administration communications about the attacks, the resolution said.

Seven Democrats voted for the formation of the committee, and no Republican voted against it.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

What's On 'KLH?

Milwaukee… Live It, Love It!

Milwaukee_LiveItLoveIt_int_wp

Milwaukee truly is a great place on a great lake – with great people living it, and loving it! Listen to a few reasons why…

Vote for BEER in ’16!

hometownbrew_int_wp2REV

Pick up a 6-pack of our limited edition WKLH / Sprecher Hometown Brew 30th Anniversary Lager at these fine locations…

Hire Me MKE

HireMeMKE_620x400

Looking for a job around the Milwaukee area? Check out some opening…

Wanna Play DJ?

HEYMOM

You can host your own show Sunday night at 6 on ‘KLH!

Recent Headlines

2 hours ago in National, World

Mayors from big cities around globe push climate initiatives

Fresh
parisclimate276422967025

The mayors of major cities from around the world are banding together to fight global warming by investing in public transportation and electric cars, planting trees and switching to solar energy.

2 hours ago in Entertainment

Seth MacFarlane returning to Fox with new sci-fi series

Fresh
sethmacfarlane536713938826

The "Family Guy" star is producing a new series set 300 years in the future.

5 hours ago in National

Fired up by Sanders, Democrats shift left on health care

sanders16125621842918

As the Obama administration is counting down its final year in office, many Democrats are finding less to like about the president's health care law.