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HomeNewsPoliticsDems Split On House Vote To Establish Select Committee On Benghazi

Dems Split On House Vote To Establish Select Committee On Benghazi

Benghazi
Benghazi

Newly released Benghazi emails tied White House through Ben Rhodes to Susan Rice talking points used on no less than five Sunday talk shows, which turned out to be lies. House voted to establish select committee on Benghazi on Thursday, May 8, 2014.(Photo: AP)

The Republican-controlled House voted Thursday to establish a select committee on Benghazi, marking the official launch of a serious investigation into the Benghazi scandal.

The committee Chair Rep. Trey Gowdy wrote in an op-ed Thursday in USA Today that “Benghazi matters because Americans deserve to know the truth from those entrusted to lead and govern.” The investigation is aimed at answering the many questions about what happened before, during and after the terror attack that killed four Americans.

The House voted 232-186 to approve the panel, with 7 Democrats joining the 225 Republicans voting in favor, while 186 Democrats voted against the committee.

Republicans are united in their support of the select committee, many of which have been pressuring House Speaker John Boehner for a year and a half until he finally called for it last week. Democrats, on the other hand, have been fractured on the investigation, with some even threatening to boycott the entire investigation.

Yesterday, former speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called on House Republicans to ensure an even split on the committee between parties. “If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan,” Pelosi said in a statement released by her office. “The panel should be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans as is done on the House Ethics Committee.

But Chairman Gowdy wasn’t biting on her request. “No, Ma’am, elections have consequences,” Gowdy said when asked if he would accommodate Pelosi’s request, flipping the script on both President Obama and Pelosi who used the same line during the health care debate.

It was only the day before that Pelosi seemed visibly annoyed by reporters who questioned her on the newly released Benghazi emails. “Diversion, subterfuge, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. …Why aren’t we talking about something else?” Pelosi said. Now, she is changing her tune. However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is sticking to his guns, as many suspected after the tapping South Carolinian Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor to head-up the committee investigation.

“I had a conversation with [House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi] yesterday and made clear that this is a serious investigation, that we want to work together to get to the truth,” he said. “I think the seven-five split is eminently fair, frankly fairer than her Global Warming Committee that she set up.”

Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi established a select committee on global warming, which had 9 Democrats and 6 Republicans. No one on the left complained at the time.

The legislation crafted by Boehner and now-passed in the House mandates that the select committee be re-established when a new Congress begins in January, but includes no specific financial limits.

Boehner was content with the already-established committees investigating Benghazi until newly released emails showed a senior White House advisor played a direct and pivotal role in prepping former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for her despicable Sunday show appearances. The emails were only obtained after the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, filed a lawsuit against the Department of State (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00951)), and obtained more than 100 pages of documents. Many of the documents released by judges order contained information and emails that the White House either intentionally hid from Congress or excessively redacted in order to conceal the information we now know.

That was the final straw for Speaker Boehner.

In the email, Rhodes says the game plan was to stress the anti-Islam Internet video, but insinuates the strategy will be to obfuscate differences between the Benghazi attack and what were widespread protests across the Middle East directly related to foreign policy failures following negative developments on the botched Arab Spring.

The email specifically lists the following two goals, as well as several others:

“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

“To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

What follows in the email is the line repeatedly returned to by administration officials when they knew that the attack had nothing to do with the video. “We find it disgusting and reprehensible. But there is absolutely no justification at all for responding to this movie with violence,” the email stated.

“The goal of the White House was to do one thing primarily, which was to make the president look good. Blame it on the video and not [the] president’s policies,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.

It remains unclear whether House Democrats and the Obama administration will cooperate with the select committee. Thus far, for the most part, the Democratic strategy seems to be along the lines of delegitimizing the investigation by depicting it as a political witch hunt. Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolinian, who serves as the assistant Democratic leader, said he was “dead set against” the committee unless Republicans agreed to an even split. Clyburn said he is ”not bringing the noose to any hanging.”

Refusing to participate or attempting to paint the investigation with a partisan brush may not be the best strategy for Democrats. According to the latest Fox News poll, 60 percent of registered voters think the White House is trying to cover-up what happened in Benghazi and want Congress to continue to investigate. Among a survey of likely voters, just over half — 51 percent — said the Benghazi scandal deserves further investigation, while just 32 percent disagreed.

What is certain is that the investigation by the select committee ensures that Benghazi will be an issue during the 2014 midterm elections, which will certainly serve to galvanize conservative voters. Gowdy, however, made headlines yesterday for criticizing fundraising efforts by Republican candidates “on the backs of four murdered Americans.”

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 209
(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

      H RES 567      YEA-AND-NAY      8-May-2014      6:29 PM
      QUESTION:  On Agreeing to the Resolution
      BILL TITLE: Providing for the Establishment of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi

YEAS NAYS PRES NV
REPUBLICAN 225 8
DEMOCRATIC 7 186 6
INDEPENDENT
TOTALS 232 186   14


—- YEAS    232 —
 

Aderholt
Amash
Amodei
Bachus
Barber
Barletta
Barr
Barrow (GA)
Barton
Benishek
Bentivolio
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Black
Blackburn
Boehner
Boustany
Brady (TX)
Bridenstine
Brooks (AL)
Brooks (IN)
Broun (GA)
Buchanan
Bucshon
Burgess
Byrne
Calvert
Camp
Campbell
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Cassidy
Chabot
Chaffetz
Coffman
Cole
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Conaway
Cook
Cotton
Cramer
Crenshaw
Culberson
Daines
Davis, Rodney
Denham
Dent
DeSantis
DesJarlais
Diaz-Balart
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Ellmers
Farenthold
Fincher
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Fleming
Flores
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gardner
Garrett
Gerlach
Gibbs
Gibson
Gingrey (GA)
Gohmert
Goodlatte
Gosar
Gowdy
Granger
Graves (GA)
Graves (MO)
Griffin (AR)
Griffith (VA)
Grimm
Guthrie
Hall
Hanna
Harper
Harris
Hartzler
Hastings (WA)
Heck (NV)
Hensarling
Herrera Beutler
Holding
Hudson
Huelskamp
Huizenga (MI)
Hultgren
Hunter
Hurt
Issa
Jenkins
Johnson (OH)
Johnson, Sam
Jolly
Jones
Jordan
Joyce
Kelly (PA)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kinzinger (IL)
Kline
Labrador
LaMalfa
Lamborn
Lance
Lankford
Latham
Latta
LoBiondo
Long
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Lummis
Marchant
Marino
Massie
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul
McClintock
McHenry
McIntyre
McKeon
McKinley
McMorris Rodgers
Meadows
Meehan
Messer
Mica
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller, Gary
Mullin
Mulvaney
Murphy (FL)
Murphy (PA)
Neugebauer
Noem
Nugent
Nunes
Olson
Palazzo
Paulsen
Pearce
Perry
Peterson
Petri
Pittenger
Pitts
Poe (TX)
Pompeo
Posey
Price (GA)
Rahall
Reichert
Renacci
Ribble
Rice (SC)
Rigell
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Rokita
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross
Rothfus
Royce
Runyan
Ryan (WI)
Salmon
Sanford
Scalise
Schock
Schweikert
Scott, Austin
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shimkus
Shuster
Simpson
Sinema
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Southerland
Stewart
Stivers
Stockman
Stutzman
Terry
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Tipton
Turner
Upton
Valadao
Wagner
Walberg
Walden
Walorski
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wenstrup
Westmoreland
Whitfield
Williams
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Wolf
Womack
Woodall
Yoder
Yoho
Young (AK)
Young (IN)

—- NAYS    186 —
 

Bass
Beatty
Becerra
Bera (CA)
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Brown (FL)
Brownley (CA)
Bustos
Butterfield
Capps
Capuano
Cárdenas
Carney
Carson (IN)
Cartwright
Castor (FL)
Castro (TX)
Chu
Cicilline
Clark (MA)
Clarke (NY)
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Cohen
Connolly
Conyers
Cooper
Costa
Courtney
Crowley
Cuellar
Cummings
Davis (CA)
Davis, Danny
DeFazio
Delaney
DeLauro
DelBene
Deutch
Dingell
Doggett
Doyle
Duckworth
Edwards
Ellison
Engel
Enyart
Eshoo
Esty
Farr
Fattah
Foster
Frankel (FL)
Fudge
Gabbard
Gallego
Garamendi
Garcia
Grayson
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Grijalva
Gutiérrez
Hahn
Hanabusa
Hastings (FL)
Heck (WA)
Higgins
Himes
Hinojosa
Holt
Honda
Horsford
Hoyer
Huffman
Israel
Jackson Lee
Jeffries
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, E. B.
Kaptur
Keating
Kelly (IL)
Kennedy
Kildee
Kilmer
Kind
Kirkpatrick
Kuster
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Levin
Lewis
Lipinski
Loebsack
Lofgren
Lowenthal
Lowey
Lujan Grisham (NM)
Luján, Ben Ray (NM)
Lynch
Maffei
Maloney, Carolyn
Maloney, Sean
Matheson
Matsui
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
McNerney
Meeks
Meng
Michaud
Miller, George
Moore
Moran
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal
Negrete McLeod
Nolan
O’Rourke
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor (AZ)
Payne
Perlmutter
Peters (CA)
Peters (MI)
Pingree (ME)
Pocan
Polis
Price (NC)
Quigley
Rangel
Richmond
Roybal-Allard
Ruiz
Ruppersberger
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Sarbanes
Schakowsky
Schiff
Schneider
Schrader
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Sewell (AL)
Shea-Porter
Sherman
Sires
Slaughter
Smith (WA)
Speier
Swalwell (CA)
Takano
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Titus
Tonko
Tsongas
Van Hollen
Vargas
Veasey
Vela
Velázquez
Visclosky
Walz
Wasserman Schultz
Waters
Waxman
Welch
Wilson (FL)
Yarmuth

—- NOT VOTING    14 —
 

Bachmann
Bishop (GA)
Coble
Crawford
DeGette
Duffy
Kingston
McAllister
Nunnelee
Pelosi
Reed
Rush
Schwartz
Scott, David

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