KUTV.com | Stories - House GOP Unlikely to Bend to Democrats on Benghazi
Thursday, May 8 2014, 02:10 PM MDT
House GOP Unlikely to Bend to Democrats on Benghazi
(CNN) House Republicans are unlikely to bend to Democratic demands for more equity in the structure of a select committee to investigate the Benghazi terror attack, a GOP source familiar with the matter told CNN.

The House was set to vote on creating the panel later in the day that, at this point, would include seven Republicans and five Democrats.

House Speaker John Boehner called that division fair on Thursday at a briefing with reporters, and said he had spoken with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi about her party's concerns.

Boehner said of the conversation that he "made clear that this is a serious investigation, that we wanted to work together to get to the truth."

But when pressed by CNN about whether Republicans would make changes to give Democrats more power in the investigation, Boehner would only say that "there are further conversations continuing on that issue."

Democrats are threatening to boycott the committee, believing they would not have access to witnesses or equal say in subpoenas, which would make the investigation inherently partisan.

CNN is also told Democrats are discussing another option -- minimal participation -- something short of an all-out boycott and less than the full contingent of Democrats.

According to a Democratic leadership aide, this option would "make clear they're protesting, but also have full member participation to ensure that there are Democrats in the room to hold Republicans accountable for their behavior on the committee.

Benghazi a partisan flashpoint

It was unlikely that they would make a decision on whether to participate before the full House votes on establishing the panel. They will meet on Friday to discuss the matter further.

The September 2012 terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

It has since become a partisan flashpoint over President Barack Obama's conduct of foreign policy, and formation of a new investigation further magnifies the issue in a midterm election year.

The administration has come under fire over questions about the level of security before the armed assault, its reaction to it, and its slow-to-evolve public explanation of what had occurred.

Democrats have said the GOP has gone overboard in its multiple investigations. But Republicans say new information that surfaced last week raising more questions about how the administration handled the matter supported their contention the White House politicized its response to events in a presidential election year.

Boehner, who had been under pressure from conservatives to form a select committee, then announced his intention to do so last week.

Strategy session

On Thursday, many House Democrats attended a weekly meeting to go over strategy for floor action on the issue. But Pelosi and other top Democrats were still weighing the pros and cons from their rank and file on the issue of participation.

One aide told CNN that Democrats recognized they were unlikely to get changes they outlined in a letter to Boehner.

But the aide said that "the calculus on this is being weighed - do we participate in a Darrell Issa-like committee or worse, or is it worth having someone in the room for it?"

Issa is chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has taken a leading role in the GOP-led investigation of Benghazi.

His effort has been sharply criticized by Democrats.

Rep. Steve Israel, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is in charge of electing Democrats to the House this November, is arguing privately it would be a mistake to participate.

He cited numerous reasons, including fear that independent voters fed up with Washington bickering would see Democrats as part of the problem.

Fundraising off Benghazi

Separately, the controversy grew more intense this week over revelations that Republicans were using it for political fundraising. Democrats contend that just underscores their belief that the select committee was politically driven.

Boehner punted on fundraising question on Thursday, refusing to endorse or dismiss it.

Despite multiple questions about whether it is right for Republicans to use the tragedy to raise political cash, all Boehner would say repeatedly is "our focus is on getting the truth for the American people and these four families."

Boehner already appointed South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, to head the select committee.

He said he would release the names of other Republican members in the near future. A GOP aide told CNN he expected the names to be released on Friday.

By Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh


™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.House GOP Unlikely to Bend to Democrats on Benghazi

News Photos & Videos - Submit Your Photos Here

More Political Stories

Obama: Tax avoidance akin to renouncing citizenship
Clinton polling well in key presidential battleground
Obama weighs sending National Guard to border
Paul Ryan to spell out proposal to help the poor
Top Democrat predicts -- again -- his party can win back the House
GOP voters in Ga. to decide Senate nominee
Bill Clinton won't 'jump the gun' on wife's plans
GOP seeks jolt to Senate race against Dem Franken
Obama to discuss immigration crisis with Central American leaders
More Clinton documents released
Jeb Bush, Rubio lay low on border crisis
Child migrant surge shifts politics of immigration
Liberals swoon for Warren, point to Clinton in '16
White House party crasher fails to make ballot
Immigrants or refugees? A difference with political consequences
Christie: N.J. may consider housing kids from southern border influx
Netroots Nation's to-do list: Get Democrats to polls in November
Man breaks into Kennedy compound, 'looking for Katy Perry'
Poll: Immigration tops list of most important issues
Rubio to court South Carolina conservatives
Senate Democrats to back House highway bill
House Democrats' campaign arm has $51M banked
House GOP prepares response to border crisis
Schools a haven for many unaccompanied minors
House votes to extend moratorium on Internet taxes
With deadline looming, Obama to again push infrastructure
Republicans to sue Obama over health law
Texas immigrant flood will worsen, officials warn
Kerry in Afghanistan to talk over election outcome, fraud claims
Texas governor lashes out at Obama over immigration crisis
Chris Christie: The $60 million man
Secret Service starts K-9 patrols near White House
Biden to speak at liberal Netroots Nation
Obama heads to Texas to address 'urgent humanitarian situation'
Christie returning to key primary state
Obama edges into tight Colorado Senate race
US students in middle of pack on financial knowhow
Udall cancels appearance at fundraiser with Obama
Obama is offered legal weed during his night out in Denver
Cleveland to hold 2016 Republican convention
Obama seeks $3.7 billion for immigration emergency
Sen. Menendez suggests Cuban smear, says U.S. should investigate
U.S. attorney general urges new laws to prevent terror from returning fighters
Poll: Most still align with Dems or GOP
John McCain's favorite Democrat?
Border-state Democrat: Obama 'one step behind' on immigration
Obama coming to Colorado for Udall fundraiser
Obama highlights push for better skilled teachers
Supreme Court women lash out at birth control decision
July 4 White House ceremony: Military members become citizens
Hillary Clinton: Snowden has right to public defense
Romney insists he won't be a candidate in 2016
College presidents say no to unions for athletes
Who is the worst president since WWII ?
It pays to work for the White House
Politics brings Romney back to New Hampshire
Hobby Lobby ruling much more than abortion
5 things Obama can and can't do on immigration
Michelle Howard becomes Navy's first female four-star admiral
Crossroads books $20M in TV ads for 6 Senate races
Advertise with us!

Washington Times

Washington TimesThe Washington Times - Politics, Breaking News, US and World News.

Click Here for more!


Pay It Forward
Fresh Living
Family Matters
Road Trippin
Hooked On Utah

Advertise with us!