Benghazi panel to have 7 GOPers, 5 Dems
By: Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan
May 6, 2014 09:30 AM EDT
The select committee that will probe the attacks in Benghazi will have seven Republicans and five Democrats, according to sources familiar with the GOP leadership’s plans.
A resolution to create the committee will come to the floor Thursday and is expected to pass by a wide margin. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) tapped South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to chair the panel.
It’s not what House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wanted. The top House Democrat on Tuesday morning called for an equal number of her members and Republicans to sit on the committee. Late Tuesday, Pelosi was deliberating whether she would appoint members to the panel — she wanted to see the details of the resolution before committing, according to a source familiar with her thinking.
“If this review is to be fair, it must be truly bipartisan,” Pelosi said in a Tuesday morning statement. “The panel should be equally divided between Democrats and Republicans as is done on the House Ethics Committee. It should require that witnesses are called and interviewed, subpoenas are issued, and information is shared on a bipartisan basis. Only then could it be fair.”
In the strongest statement thus far expressing Democratic disapproval of the panel, Rep. Jim Clyburn, the South Carolinian who serves as the assistant Democratic leader, said he would be “dead set against” participating unless there’s an even split between the two parties. Clyburn said he is “”not bringing the noose to my hanging.”
There are few committees that are evenly split between Democrats and Republicans — the Ethics Committee is one. Other committees have more members of the majority party than the minority.
Her call for the committee to be evenly split could set the stage for boycotting the panel if Republicans rebuff her suggestion.
Pelosi’s select committee probing global warming had nine Democrats and six Republicans.