Privileged Resolution offered by Ranking Member Slaughter to Dismantle Benghazi Select Committee

LOUISE SLAUGHTER

 

Whereas the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, took the lives of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty;

Whereas the events leading up to and in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were rightfully and thoroughly examined to honor the memory of the victims and to improve the safety of the men and women serving our country overseas;

Whereas the independent Accountability Review Board convened by the U.S. State Department investigated the events in Benghazi and found no evidence of deliberate wrongdoing;

Whereas five committees in the U.S. House of Representatives investigated the events in Benghazi and found no evidence of deliberate wrongdoing;

Whereas four committees in the U.S. Senate investigated the events in Benghazi and found no evidence of deliberate wrongdoing;

Whereas in each fiscal year, more than $4 billion is appropriated to run the Congress, with untold amounts of this taxpayer money expended by nine Congressional committees to investigate the events in Benghazi, none of which produced any evidence of deliberate wrongdoing;

Whereas after the exhaustive, thorough, and costly investigations by nine Congressional committees and the independent Accountability Review Board found no evidence of deliberate wrongdoing, Republican leaders in the House insisted on using taxpayer dollars to fund a new, duplicative “Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi,” (hereafter the Select Committee) to re-examine the matter;

Whereas this taxpayer-funded committee was given broad powers to pursue its investigations, including an unlimited, taxpayer-funded budget and granting the Chairman the legal authority to subpoena documents and compel testimony without any debate or a vote;

Whereas the ongoing Republican-led investigation into the events in Benghazi is now one of the longest running and least productive investigations in Congressional history;

Whereas a widely-quoted statement made on September 29th, 2015 by Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Leader of the House of Representatives, has called into question the integrity of the proceedings of the Select Committee and the House of Representatives as a whole;

Whereas this statement by Representative McCarthy demonstrates that the Select Committee established by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives was created to influence public opinion of a presidential candidate;

Whereas the Select Committee has been in existence for 17 months but has held only three hearings;

Whereas the Select Committee abandoned its plans to obtain public testimony from Defense Department and Intelligence Community leaders;

Whereas the Select Committee excluded Democratic Members from interviews of witnesses who provided exculpatory information related to its investigation;

Whereas information obtained by the Select Committee has been selectively and inaccurately leaked to influence the electoral standing of a candidate for public office;

Whereas such actions represent an abuse of power that demonstrates the partisan nature of the Select Committee;

Whereas the Select Committee has spent more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds to date to advance its partisan efforts;

Whereas this amount does not include the costs of the independent Accountability Review Board; the hearings and reports by nine Congressional committees; the time, money, and resources consumed by Federal agencies to comply with Select Committee requests; or the opportunity cost of not spending this money elsewhere, such as improving security for our diplomatic officers abroad;

Whereas it is an outrage that more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds have been used by Republicans in the House of Representatives, not to run the government, but to interfere inappropriately with an election for president of the United States;

Whereas the use of taxpayer dollars by the House of Representatives for campaign purposes is a violation of the Rules of the House and Federal law;

Resolved, that

1)  this misuse of the official resources of the House of Representatives for political purposes undermines the integrity of the proceedings of the House and brings discredit to the House;

2)  the integrity of the proceedings of the House can be fully restored only by the dissolution of the Select Committee; and

3) the Select Committee shall be dismantled and is hereby directed to make public within thirty days transcripts of all unclassified interviews and depositions it has conducted.

Congresswoman Slaughter, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Rules, offered a Privleged Resolution to the House Floor on October 7, 2015 to dismantle the Benghazi Select Committee.