Skip to comments.GOP defies Boehner on special Benghazi panel
Posted on 05/14/2013 3:56:13 AM PDT by markomalley
House Republican members are defying Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and five committee chairmen by endorsing a measure that would set up a special panel to investigate the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
A growing number of members on the committees with jurisdiction over the Benghazi matter Intelligence, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs have signed onto Rep. Frank Wolfs (R-Va.) resolution.
Boehner and the chairmen of those committees do not support the legislation. Instead, they have worked together to investigate the Obama administrations handling of the Sept. 11, 2012 assault.
Despite that resistance, Wolf has garnered a sizable majority of the GOP Conference as co-sponsors since introducing the measure in January. It has 146 GOP co-sponsors, with more than 80 Republicans backing it over the last month.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has also embraced a special committee and attempted to pry the GOP-led House to schedule a vote. That would put pressure, McCain has pointed out, on the Senate to act.
According to a review of the House co-sponsors, a majority of GOP lawmakers on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees and half of the GOP lawmakers on the Foreign Affairs panel have endorsed the Wolf resolution.
Former Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) signed on to the resolution Monday, while former Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.) endorsed it during a television interview. Late last week, former Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) became a co-sponsor.
Two of the Intelligence Committees 12 GOP lawmakers, Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Tom Rooney (Fla.), have signed on.
Not one Democrat has co-sponsored the Wolf resolution.
President Obama on Monday dismissed GOP charges that his administration covered up the truth about the attacks in Benghazi, calling them a politically motivated sideshow that does dishonor to the nations diplomats.
He added: The whole issue of talking points, frankly, throughout this process has been a sideshow. The fact that this keeps getting churned out, frankly, has a lot to do with political motivations.
Wolf told The Hill in an interview, I think you want to bring together the very best minds, you want to focus like a laser beam ... bring an outside counsel to coordinate, direct and unify ... bring it together in 90 days.
Should Boehner not seek a vote on Wolfs resolution, the Virginia congressman revealed he might have several opportunities to offer the measure as an amendment on the House floor during the appropriations bill process in June.
I would look for a way to offer an amendment on the floor. Appropriations bills are coming. There will be opportunities, Wolf explained.
Detractors say that creating a select committee would be counterproductive to the work that has already been undertaken by the five committees of jurisdiction.
They maintain that the 90-day timeline would allow for administration stonewalling, and with only 19 members on the committee 10 of which would be the committee chairmen and ranking members of the panels with jurisdiction said it would be difficult to appoint standout questioners to the select panel.
On Sunday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) dismissed the idea of a creating a select committee: ... it needs to be investigated. Our committee can investigate.
Last Thursday, Wolf sent a stinging letter to Boehner, citing the support for his select committee cause the day after Oversight and Government Reform held a high-profile hearing on Benghazi.
The revelations at [last weeks] hearing have raised serious questions about the administrations efforts to respond to the Americans under fire at the annex in Benghazi. What remains to be seen is whether the House will be complicit in that failure, or if we will pursue the truth wherever it may take us to ensure that we continue to deserve the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country, Wolf wrote.
Boehner last week remained firm in his commitment to follow regular order and allow the committees with jurisdiction to continue to share the workload.
He highlighted the Oversight and Government Reform Committees performance in questioning State Department whistle-blower Gregory Hicks.
I thought that Chairman Issa and the members of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee ... did a fabulous job in a very long day of hearings of eliciting more information that, frankly, we havent had for the last eight months, Boehner said.
A senior House Republican aide said, It should be pretty clear after last week that there is already a committee leading the overarching investigation, and that is Chairman Issas committee. After last weeks hearing, there is growing concern, even among members whove advocated the creation of a select committee in the past, that throwing all this to a select committee now instead of letting Issas panel continue to do its work would actually impede the investigation.
Since the hearing last week, seven House Republicans have formally co-sponsored Wolfs legislation, including Deputy Whip Tom Cole (Okla.).
On Monday afternoon, Issas committee sent out a notice that it would be taking testimony from Ambassador Tom Pickering and retired Adm. Michael Mullen, who led the State Department investigation on Benghazi. Issa gave notice during recent media appearances that he might subpoena additional witnesses. Former Vice President Cheney last week suggested the GOP should subpoena former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
If obongo is calling for an investigation into the latter then there's nothing there that can touch him, and if he's poo poohing the former he's neck deep in it, bank on it.
Way to go, Committee chairs!
Boehner has obviously been involved HELPING al Qaeda,
otherwise he would have been FOR this.
Boehner and McConnel are such disappointments.
Having McCain push this Committee leads me to suspect it.
I don’t trust McCain in anything.
Perhaps the select committee is not needed, perhaps Issa can handle this (I doubt it though). Don’t know which way to go on this one, but would love to see the Democrats elect a new Speaker.
Can’t just have Oversight Committee investigate all of the Obama & Co wrongdoings.
Boehner has got to realize people don’t trust government, and don’t trust him and his cronies, either.
Or be made to realize that fact.
We will have a new speaker soon... this man is pissing off everyone... but the communists.
I think Boehner is right on this one...the standing committees need to do their jobs and let their members ask their questions, whereas a Special Committee (like the 9/11 committee) could give Obama enough room to wiggle out with barely a scratch.
Bonehead is playing both ends against the middle here. He is trying not to look like Barry Soetoro (BS) enemy while at the same time trying to say the Congress is doing what they can to get to the bottom of these scandals.
Bonehead is worried he could lose his speaker’s job if the dems win and will not take on anything that does not have a 100% chance of success. He even lets BS crap on him by saying things like The Speaker had those documents, we gave him access last year implying he did not review them when he had a chance to do so.
On the select committee, they need someone with the heart of an investigator not some political chump to lead it. I am tired of the press releases that go no where like fast and furious when I was certain the cretain would be taken out in hand cuffs only to find out the matter was allowed to die out of its own weight. The firing of Walpin, that could have also been laid directly on BS but nothing happened then either. On and on, we are fighting not only the dems and the media, we are fighting RINO incompetence.
After following Fast and Furious just as closely as I have followed Benghazi, I ask Chairman Issa how many people have gone to jail as a result of his investigation? What do we know that David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh didn't have first? What happened?
Anyone wanting on or off this ping list, please advise.
Neither do I. I assume that the subcommittees already have their marching orders. Seems that they could be allowed to go forward. I'd like to see Armed Services get testimony from the officers on duty on 9/11/13.
Someone get that testicle-free weephead out of the Speakers Chair and get someone in there with a pair. He isn’t this wimpy when it comes to smacking down Conservatives. He’s quick to do that.
“Boehner and McConnel are such disappointments.
leaders? Horse shit”
Hastert and Frist before them were also weak. With the exception of the early days of Gingrich as Speaker, the GOP establishment has been unable to develop and put in place effective leadership at the national level:
George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush
Bob Livingston - Gingrich successor as speaker who resigned
Mel Martinez - RNC Chairman before Steele
It is impossible to fight a war for survival with vapid leadership.
Is Boehner leading from the rear again?
Boehner is waiting for Pelosi to request a select committee..
I fear we’d see a repeat of what happened with Clinton on the Cox and Thompson reports, which is what Holder et al have already done with all the Congressional investigations: refuse to honor subpoenas. Unless a select committee is ready to arrest people like Eric Holder who defy their subpoenas, deadlines, etc. 90 days is not long enough to get answers from anybody. If both Issa’s group and a select committee have the ability to subpoena, it seems like the major difference is that a select committee is limited to 90 days, and that would be a bad thing given this regime’s stonewalling.
Is there some legal ability that a select committee has, that Issa’s committee doesn’t have? What is the advantage to make up for the time restriction?
Spot on. This needs to be repeated over and over. Let's not take our eyes off the ball.