Pressure Builds for House Probe Into Benghazi Attacks

Image: Pressure Builds for House Probe Into Benghazi Attacks

Tuesday, 23 Jul 2013 08:27 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The Republican House leadership is under renewed pressure to allow a vote on legislation that would create a special committee to investigate the Benghazi, Lybia, terrorist attack in September that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Rep. Steve Stockman is circulating a discharge petition that would force House Speaker John Boehner to allow a floor vote on forming a Benghazi select committee, according to The Hill.

A discharge petition can force a bill to the House floor without first getting a report from a committee


"The only way we're going to get a clean and thorough investigation is by forcing a vote with a discharge petition," the Texas Republican said when he first floated his plan last week.

The petition has the signatures of 1,000 special-operations veterans, but Stockman needs to meet a threshold of 218 House-member signatures in order to force a vote.

In his effort to collect more signatures, Stockman plans on Tuesday to roll out the 60-foot-long scroll of veteran signatures on the steps of the Capitol. It is believed to be the largest petition ever presented to Congress, the Hill reported.

For some time, the House GOP leadership has been under pressure from some of its own conference members to set-up a separate Benghazi committee.

In April, Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf circulated a petition calling for a select committee. It ultimately gathered around 160 signatures, but the measure has been stalled in committee.

Boehner repeatedly has insisted that the standing committees investigating the matter are sufficient. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has been leading one investigation, which started in May with hearings.

The move by Stockman and Wolf to force a vote on a select committee is unusual because discharge petitions are very rarely used by members of the majority party in the House.

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