House Dem: Benghazi panel ‘foolish waste of time’

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said that forming a select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, terror attack would a “foolish waste of time.”

"The idea of having another committee to try to get different results from the all of the other committees and all of the hearings really is a foolish waste of time," Slaughter, the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee, said during preliminary floor debate.

"One more committee weighted in favor of the majority is not going to do any better," she added, in reference to the panel’s breakdown of seven Republicans and five Democrats.

Slaughter also sharply criticized the GOP’s tactics in investigating the attack as “tacky” and “tragic.”

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Democrats have not yet decided if they will participate in the panel which will probe the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission that left four Americans dead.

Slaughter accused the GOP of politicizing the Benghazi attack to galvanize the conservative base ahead of the midterms, noting that the National Republican Congressional Committee had been fundraising off the anticipated vote.

"That is the most crass and awful thing to do to the families of the four people who died," Slaughter said. "I'm appalled the majority would use these deaths for political gain and political money."

Republicans said the panel would help Congress learn how the Obama administration handled the attack. Some Republicans have charged that the White House downplayed the terrorist nature of the attack for political gain ahead of the 2012 presidential election.

"We are here to gain knowledge, to gain answers, to gain corrective action," House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said.

"It is sad it has come to this," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time of the attack. "But unfortunately, our patience has been sorely tried."

Final debate and passage of the resolution are expected in the early evening.

This story was updated at 2:51 p.m.

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