House Republicans are set to begin a special investigation of the deadly 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.
Democrats are considering a boycott of the committee, which is expected to be approved formally when the Republican-led House votes Thursday afternoon. They don’t want their presence to provide legitimacy to what they believe will be a partisan forum, yet they don’t want to lose the ability to counter Republican claims and provide cover for potential witnesses.
Speaker John Boehner vowed Wednesday 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. “This is a serious investigation,” he said while accusing Obama and his team of withholding the true story of how militants killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.
Democrats voiced wide-ranging concerns over the scope and composition of the select committee. They said they’d make no decision on whether to participate in the panel until Boehner responds to a demand from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi that he scrap his plan for a committee of seven Republicans and five Democrats. Democrats say membership should be evenly split, and want clearer time and cost constraints for a forum they likened to a “kangaroo court.” Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., said Boehner’s panel “can go on forever.” [More on this story]
Today’s Question: How important is further investigation into the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi?