Senate GOP presses Reid to launch Benghazi special panel

Thirty-seven Republican senators have written a letter pressing Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to create a select Senate committee to probe the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

Republicans led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) say Reid should reconsider his decision not to establish a special investigative committee as Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has authorized in the House.

“Congressional oversight is crucial to understanding what happened before, during, and after the attacks, so we can be sure we do everything in our power to prevent future attacks,” the lawmakers wrote.

The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on Benghazi in January, and Reid has said he does not plan to authorize a special committee to further review the matter.

Republicans argue the intelligence panel’s report was constrained by its limited jurisdictional authority.

“Unfortunately, congressional oversight committee action has been largely confined to jurisdictional bounds,” the GOP lawmakers wrote. “As a result, the committees only have a partial view of the facts.”

House Democrats have balked at participating on the special panel set up this month by Boehner, insisting that its membership should be evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has lobbied his colleagues to create a Senate-House select committee focused on Benghazi, introducing a resolution establishing such a panel last year.

Democrats rejected a unanimous consent request Cruz made on the floor Monday to set it up.