Florida Delegation Votes to Create Benghazi Committee
Around the State
On Thursday, the U.S. House voted to create a select committee investigating the Benghazi attacks from September 2012 in which four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed and the Obama administration’s response to it.
The House voted 232-186 to establish the committee. All 186 congressmen who opposed the creation of the committee were Democrats while 225 Republicans and seven Democrats voted to back it.
“While the congressman respects the work his colleagues have done already investigating this matter, when it comes to American lives lost overseas in service to our nation, we must make sure that all questions have been answered,” said Erin Moffet Hale, a spokeswoman for Murphy, in a statement sent to the media. “He sincerely hopes that this committee is not used as a way to politicize this tragedy and the deaths of four Americans.”
With the exception of Murphy, other Florida congressmen voted along party lines.
U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., said on Thursday he backed efforts to create a House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks.
“No matter how you look at it – justice has not been served for the four Americans killed in Benghazi on the night of Sept. 11, 2012,” Crenshaw said. “The White House can claim all it wants that the questions of this tragic night have been answered. But, that is not so, and this tragic case has long deserved the investigation of a select committee.
“This is a point made more relevant after a White House email revealed that discussions were being held over how former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice should characterize Benghazi in news interviews. Speaker Boehner is absolutely doing the right thing by convening a select committee,” Crenshaw added. “What really happened the night of Sept. 11, 2012? The families of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, a Foreign Service information officer, and two security personnel killed at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya, deserve to know. So do Congress and the rest of America.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., insisted the Obama administration’s handling of the attack left Congress no other choice but to launch the committee.
“This administration’s continued refusal to divulge information to the American people regarding the Benghazi attack has left Congress with no recourse but to take action,” said Southerland on Thursday night. “I am hopeful that today’s vote will be the first step in ensuring we get answers for the families of the victims and deliver justice to those who brought them harm.”
But Florida Democrats lined up behind U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in insisting the Republicans were more concerned with politics, including stopping former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions, than actually producing results.
“The attack in Libya was a tragedy, as is losing an ambassador doing official work for the United States abroad, but using these deaths to score political points is politics at its worst. After 9/11, our nation came together to do what is best for all Americans,” said U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla. “There were no gotcha politics, no hearings to blame the victims; instead, we worked together as a unified body on Capitol Hill to protect the American people.
“There have already been seven reviews of that terrible attack: one by the State Department’s accountability review board, two bipartisan reviews in the Senate, and four partisan reviews in the House,” Brown added. “It certainly seems as though the Republicans’ proposed special committee is nothing more than an attempt to exploit the deaths of four brave Americans to divert attention away from their own do-nothing record here in Washington. Moreover, this new select committee is in reality nothing more than a monumental waste of time and taxpayer dollars to help Republicans mobilize their extreme base ahead of the election. According to the Department of Defense, in fact they have already spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours responding to congressional inquiries.”
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