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Friday, October 28, 2016

House Republicans still consumed by uncovering a Benghazi scandal now plan to spend up to $3.3 million to investigate the 2012 attack, according to a document obtained by USA Today from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

According to the document, $2.2 million will go to the seven Republicans serving on the select committee, and just over $1 million will go to the five Democrats.

The investigation is the latest attempt to unearth the conspiracy that the GOP claims the Obama administration — specifically President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — orchestrated in the wake of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012. Over the past two years, Republicans have launched seven investigations to prove criminal wrongdoing on the administration’s part, but their efforts have been unsuccessful. The GOP’s failure to prove its claims has already cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Meanwhile, Democrats argue that Republicans are using the tragic event for their party’s own political gain.

House Republicans are now planning to spend more for their next investigation than many other key House committees receive in a year. The House Veterans Affairs Committee, which comprises 25 lawmakers and is investigating the widespread problems related to the Department of Veterans Affairs, was granted a budget of only $3 million. The House Ethics Committee, too, has a budget of only $3 million.

Also, as USA Today points out, because the Benghazi select committee was actually formed in May, its full-year budget would exceed $5 million, which is greater than the $4.4 million budget granted to the House Intelligence Committee.

Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who heads the select committee, argues that the budget is necessary because the Benghazi panel will require more resources — like greater staffing and travel means — than other committees. Those resources will, however, be used by Gowdy and Republicans to re-ask all the same questions that have already been answered in previous Benghazi probes. As the Huffington Post notes, the three questions essential to Gowdy’s investigation have already come up in previous Benghazi inquiries:

1. “Why was security lacking during the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.?”
2. “Why weren’t military units moving to support consulate personnel?”
3. “Why were references to ‘terrorist’ and ‘attacks’ edited out of the Obama administration’s talking points?”

Additionally, Gowdy has said he would like to know why the U.S. was still in Benghazi at the time of the attack, and exactly where the president was on the night of the attack; these, too, have already been asked and answered.

While Gowdy and the six other Republicans serving on the committee question the Obama administration’s role in Benghazi, they ignore that just a year before the Benghazi attack, Secretary Clinton warned that GOP-backed cuts to the U.S. State Department would be “detrimental to America’s national security.” Still, in June 2011, Republicans — two of whom, Reps. Jim Jordan (OH) and Martha Roby (AL), now serve on Gowdy’s panel — voted in favor of a bill that would have limited the use of funds to support NATO operations in Libya. That same month, House Republicans — including Gowdy and the five other GOP lawmakers on the committee — also blocked a bill that would have authorized the limited use of U.S. Armed Forces in Libya.

In 2012, Republicans proposed cuts to the Obama administration’s requested embassy security budget, and in 2013 — even in the midst of their Benghazi outcry — House Republicans again backed decreased funding for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Program.

Despite their refusal to support the cost of increasing U.S. security overseas, Republicans today have no problem spending additional millions to re-investigate the type of attack that such security could have prevented. If Gowdy and his fellow Republicans’ focus is truly on ensuring that an attack like the one that occurred in Benghazi never happens again, perhaps it would be more fiscally responsible to invest the millions of dollars currently going to the Benghazi committee somewhere that could actually help prepare for or even prevent future attacks.

Of course, this investment would force the House GOP to go silent on an issue it believes could stain Democrats ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, and Clinton before the 2016 presidential election. After all, those are the true objectives of this expensive, taxpayer-funded investigation.

Photo: House GOP via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    A million here and a million there and before you know it you talking about some real money. Why not just spend a couple of hundred dollars and print up copies of all the testimony given to the Issa witch hunt and save the taxpayers a bundle? After all this new clown show is not going to come up with anything that has not been known for well over a year already. Of course they have to spend our money doing something since the Speaker has already confirmed the House is going to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the session. Boy it must be nice having the world’s best paying part time job with full benefits and a fine retirement plan.

    • plc97477

      Not only do they have the world’s best paying part time job but the work is minimal.

    • DurdyDawg

      Because they’re not known as conservative taxpayer dollar savers, all other conservative ideals but not saving money. Ooops! I see another two-week (paid) break in the works.

  • Dominick Vila

    What should be investigated are all the “coincidences” that are taking place four months before a midterm election in the USA. The Hobby Lobby decision, and the sudden influx of women and children from Central American countries (instead of the typical influx of Mexican immigrants) is as coincidental as the making and release of an anti-Islam film two months before the last presidential election, and a Florida “Pastor” promising to burn the Qu’ran.
    For that matter, the ongoing efforts to restore the Bush image is only comical for the naive.
    Our rapidly improving economy, job creation, low inflation, growing acceptance of the ACA, and prosperity, leave the GOP no option but to return to Old Faithful. That is, abortion, illegal immigration, gun control and fear.
    As far as Benghazi, what needs to be investigated is the root causes of that tragedy, rather than the reactions of people, and their statements, while a terrorist attack was still ongoing.

    • kenyattagward

      my buddy’s sister makes $87 every hour on the internet
      . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her payment was $19402
      just working on the internet for a few hours. go right here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Aanna1123

    How about this; when the repubs pay the American taxpayers back the money they wasted on the government shut own and all those 50+ times they ATTEMPTED to repeal the PPACA, then MAYBE we’ll think about it! But for right now? Hell F**KING NO!!!!!

    • Dominick Vila

      Unfortunately for us, the House will appropriate the necessary funding regardless of what we think or like. They don’t seem to have a problem finding and borrowing money when it is needed to support their causes or political tactics.

      • Grannysmovin

        They already have staff that the taxpayers are paying for, why are they hiring additional staff? They should be using their existing staff and have possibly they will actually earn their salaries. Who will be traveling and where are they traveling?
        I want to know, where was Reagan during Iran/Contra and the 1983 attack on Marine Compound in Beirut, Lebanon. Where was Bush when the first plane hit the towers and the second plane hit the second tower? Where was Bush when it came out that there were no WMD in Iraq?

        • latebloomingrandma

          Apparently the Democrats have no equivalent to Issa.
          Democrats actually do the work of the peoples’ business instead of chasing faux conspiracies.

        • Dominick Vila

          Our congressmen, both Republicans and Democrats, don’t need more staff or higher salaries. What they must do is what the people that sent them to Washington voted for. Unfortunately, they seem more interested in fundraisers and finding ways to attack the opposition, than trying to improve the standard of living of the American people, and do everything they can to keep our country safe.
          Reagan was napping most of the time, and W was chopping wood in Crawford for a month, after being told that a foreign terrorist attack was imminent.

  • latebloomingrandma

    So—-to pay for this, will the Republicans take this money out of the next natural disaster funding? Doesn’t this whole thing just make you want to shake some common sense into someone? It’s too bad the Founding Fathers didn’t put some more concrete qualifications into running for Congress. Maybe they thought that even stupid people need representation by other stupid people.

    • Patricia Robertson

      No they will just cut programs again because after they aren’t important. So when our seniors who voted for these republicans don’t receive their meals on wheels any longer, and the rest of food shelters closes we will know who to blame. The republicans don’t realize that it no longer years before the damage of their cuts show up it is months. Look at the VA, it may have taken years but look at how fast all the dirty is coming out all through the government with broken down, out dated computers systems. Private companies have better computers systems than the government, heck hospitals that just now get on to the system wide thing has better equipment system and that is sad. Congress has cut government budgets where they had to cut their staffs and think they should one person to do five people jobs and now look at the mess it has created. No one in congress know the first thing about computers but you would think they did and if someone would play back what they actually be saying they would wonder how dumb they sound. Sometimes when listening to what is going on in these hearings you wonder to yourself, how in the world did these people get elected because they are dumb as dishwater and that is bad. Even those who claim to have been lawyers in their past life.

      • plc97477

        I agree. It looks like our universities are graduating some real dim bulbs.

    • TZToronto

      Natural disasters are just the will of God, after all–aren’t they? There’s no need to provide money for disaster relief since there’s nothing new under the sun where climate is concerned. The occasional hurricane/tornado/ice storm/forest fire isn’t really a problem since these things always happen. . . . Or so they believe.

  • Sand_Cat

    Let them take up a collection from the Kochs and the lunatics who elected them. After all, we have a deficit that’s going to end the world.

  • Jerry

    Just more taxpayer money being wasted by the GOP congressmen who are only interested in keeping their home district voters pacified by yet another “attack” on the Obama Administration. They have found that it doesn’t seem to matter to the majority of their districts’ voters if they do anything to help the country, or their district, as long as they show they are against President Obama and anything he does, proposes, or has done. It’s their formula for getting re-elected, and in an election year, it is no surprise that do something like this to look “good” to the majority in their districts. Mitch McConnell has begun his attack ads against Allison Grimes by airing ads asking where she stands, if she would have voted for Obamacare, and concluding with “she is wrong for Kentucky”. The Tea Party is still smarting from the defeat of their candidate in the run-off election in the Senate race in Mississippi because the Republican incumbent isn’t “conservative” enough for them even though there is little doubt he will be re-elected in November and keep that seat Republican. In Tennessee, the Tea Party is running against Lamar Alexander with ads stating that “Lamar has gone along with the administration far too often for Tennessee’s conservative values” while Alexander is showing his main ad so far as one where he questioned the president about healthcare premiums being higher, being rebuked by President Obama for suggesting such a thing, and then concluding by saying that “Lamar was proven to be right”. It is becoming a contest among Republicans now to see who can run a campaign that shows their candidate is more against the president than anything else. Benghazi is just one of the ways they do it. Spending taxpayer dollars to make them look like they are fighting the president, or trying to make him look bad is of little consequence to them.

    • RobertCHastings

      In 2012, it was the same tactic used by ALL (except Huntsman) Republican candidates for the presidency. Romney went as far right as he possibly could to win primaries, but his positions changed entirely during the general election process. Will McConnell REALLY push to have abortions abolished if he gets the majority leader position? Will Cruz,Perry, Paul, and others actually pursue the extreme agendas they are NOW campaigning on once the winner is chosen and the presidential campaign is afoot?

  • DurdyDawg

    Wait a minute!! If I have a problem with my neighbor.. If a politician insulted me.. If I see wrong in what anyone does and want to persue them in court (be it judicial or some kangaroo court) I must spend MY money to see that justice is served.. These nitwits aren’t prosecutors, they can’t spend taxpayer money for their hap hazard attempts to slur someone.. Make them use their OWN money to continue this witch hunt then if they win they can sue the loser for cost and if they lose, well.. lesson learned. I say NADA on even one taxpayer dime for this political farce..

  • RobertCHastings

    And they refused to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed because of what? They must have been planning pursuing Benghazi further when that happened. Save the money for fruitless Republican pursuits, criticize the unemployed for not contributing to the economy – makes a lot of sense to me.