Democrats to force vote on abolishing Benghazi committee

Democrats to force vote on abolishing Benghazi committee
© Greg Nash

House Democrats on Wednesday will try to force a vote on abolishing the Select Committee on Benghazi, in a continued effort to seize on recent comments from No. 2 House Republican Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Rep. Louise SlaughterDorothy (Louise) Louise SlaughterSeven Republicans vote against naming post office after ex-Rep. Louise Slaughter Breaking through the boys club Sotomayor, Jane Fonda inducted into National Women's Hall of Fame MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday moved ahead with a procedural effort known as a privileged resolution that will force the House to take a vote on killing the panel. The procedural vote on moving ahead with the measure is expected this afternoon.

ADVERTISEMENT

The effort comes just a day after Slaughter launched a failed bid to force a vote on a separate piece of legislation that would kill the Benghazi panel, and as part of Democrats’ renewed opposition to the committee. 

The “misuse of official resources ... brings discredit to the House,” her resolution says in part. 

“[T]he integrity of the proceedings of the House can be fully restored only by the dissolution of the Select Committee,” it adds, while calling for the panel to be “dismantled” and for all unclassified interviews and depositions to be made public within 30 days.

The new effort is likely to fail on a party-line vote. Republicans say that the panel is conducting a legitimate fact-finding mission into the events surrounding the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, under the helm of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Yet the resolution underscores Democrats’ belief that the political tables have turned on the panel, following McCarthy’s remarks last week that linked the creation of the committee to Clinton’s falling poll numbers in her presidential bid.

Clinton’s campaign has also seized on McCarthy’s comments, using them in her first national campaign ad.

The comments have cast doubt on McCarthy’s ability to serve as the House’s next Speaker, and frustrated Republicans who support the committee.

The chairman of the Benghazi panel, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-Ga.), on Wednesday said McCarthy was wrong to link his work with Clinton's presidential hopes.

“Well, he is a friend, but my first reaction is, ‘Kevin, you’re wrong,’ ” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe. “Kevin has apologized as profusely as a human being can apologize.”

In Slaughter’s resolution, she says that McCarthy’s comments “called into question the integrity of the proceedings” of the committee and demonstrate “that the Select Committee established by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives was created to influence public opinion of a presidential candidate.”

— This story was updated at 1:19 p.m.