Nancy Pelosi leaning toward boycotting Benghazi panel
By: Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer
May 7, 2014 04:54 PM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues she was leaning toward boycotting a newly announced committee to probe the attack in Benghazi, according to multiple sources in the Wednesday morning meeting.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would listen to as many of her Democratic colleagues as possible before a decision is made. But it was clear to several participants in the meeting that she was leaning against tapping Democrats to sit on the panel, which Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) will chair. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the assistant Democratic leader, aligned himself with Pelosi in the House Democratic Caucus meeting — as did Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
But there are several high-profile dissenters, including her close ally, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). Waxman, a former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, spoke in the closed meeting and made the point that Democrats should sit on the Republican-controlled committee to combat Republicans. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) agreed with Waxman, according to sources in the meeting.
House Democratic leadership is holding a 5 p.m. conference call, when the matter will be further discussed. A decision and announcement are not expected until Thursday, after a vote is held to form the committee. Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues are expected to be almost unanimous in voting against creating the select committee.