Sixty percent of House Republicans have joined the call for a special committee to probe the Benghazi attack, defying House Speaker John Boehner, who has insisted that five standing committees should continue to handle the investigation.
Since January, Rep. Frank Wolf, the Virginia Republican, has been circulating a bill calling for a 19-member select committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Libya that took the lives of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The bill now has 146 Republican sponsors, a growing number of whom are members of five different committees currently handling the matter, The Hill reported Tuesday
Wolf believes a select committee is needed because Boehner and other GOP leaders have not done enough to examine and report on the tragedy. Wolf redoubled his calls for a select committee, even after a May 8 hearing of Rep. Darrel Issa's Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the matter.
"The revelations at [last week's] hearing have raised serious questions about the administration's efforts to respond to the Americans under fire at the annex in Benghazi," Wolf said in a letter to Boehner. "What remains to be seen is whether the House will be complicit in that failure, or if we will pursue the truth -- wherever it may take us -- to ensure that we continue to deserve the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our country."
But Boehner pointed to the hearing as further evidence that the current committees are successfully handling the investigation and making a select committee unnecessary.
"I thought that Chairman Issa and the members of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee … did a fabulous job in a very long day of hearings of eliciting more information that, frankly, we haven't had for the last eight months," said Boehner, according to The Hill.
And a senior House Republican aide told The Hill, "It should be pretty clear after last week that there is already a committee leading the overarching investigation, and that is Chairman Issa's committee. After last week's hearing, there is growing concern, even among members who've advocated the creation of a select committee in the past, that throwing all this to a select committee now instead of letting Issa's panel continue to do its work would actually impede the investigation."
If Boehner decides not to allow a vote on the measure, Wolf said he would look for a way to offer it as an amendment.
Regardless of Boehner's decision on the Wolf resolution, the speaker has demonstrated his commitment to holding the Obama administration to account. According to Politico, roughly one-third of House committees under Boehner's leadership are now investigating some aspect of the Obama administration.
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