Pressure is growing on House Speaker John Boehner to appoint a select committee on Benghazi.
So far, 178 Republican House members have called for a select committee with broad powers to investigate the killing of Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Three out of every four Republicans on the committees currently with jurisdiction, recognizing the failure of the current process to obtain answers, have asked for a select committee to be appointed by Speaker Boehner.
These numbers easily satisfy the “Hastert Rule,” as a super-majority of the GOP conference wants House leadership to chart a new, more aggressive course.
Currently, five committees “investigating” Benghazi are limited by each committee’s unique jurisdiction. The Foreign Affairs Committee, for example, can’t talk to Department of Defense witnesses. The Armed Services Committee can’t talk to State Department witnesses or review State Department documents. And the Intelligence Committee won’t let anyone talk to CIA witnesses.
As Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) noted, “Americans from across the political spectrum recognize that not only are they not being told the truth [about Benghazi], but they feel Congress needs to change its approach to the investigation by creating a special committee.”
A select committee is part of regular House order, and would solve all the shortcomings of the status quo.
Benghazi has highlighted the shortcomings of the status quo, especially if House leadership takes a passive approach toward the Obama administration. More on that later.
A select committee would bring together the five committees to provide cross jurisdictional subpoena and investigative authority to hold public hearings and issue a final report.