Cruz’s Benghazi push blocked
By: Burgess Everett
May 12, 2014 06:22 PM EDT
Democrats swiftly rejected Ted Cruz’s request on Monday for the Senate to join the House in a bicameral investigation into Benghazi — with Cruz quoting Jack Nicholson in claiming that Democrats “can’t handle the truth.”
Though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has already ruled out Senate participation in the probe into the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya, the Texas GOP senator wasted no time in seeking to force the Senate into joining the House’s select committee that was established last week. After asking a series of questions about President Barack Obama and his administration’s handling of the investigation into the attacks that killed four Americans in 2012, Cruz cut to the chase.
“This body should join with the House of Representatives with a joint select committee to get to the bottom of what happened, why we didn’t protect Americans, why we didn’t stop this attack, and why we haven’t captured the terrorists who killed four Americans, including our Ambassador,” Cruz said.
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) called Cruz’s request “without merit” and responded with a counteroffer, as sure to fail as Cruz’s: That the Senate unanimously pass an embassy security bill.
Predictably both requests were objected to — but not before Cruz and Menendez traded pointed barbs on the Senate floor.
“[Republicans] previous one-trick pony, repealing the Affordable Care Act, has finally been put out to pasture. Republicans desperately need another political trick, and apparently when there is nothing else of substance to fire up their base, their plan is to yell Benghazi as often and as loudly as possible,” Menendez said, calling the embassy security bill a policy solution and Cruz’s request a partisan one.
Cruz responded with a promise that “there is no one in this chamber less interested in distracting from Obamacare” than himself — before ending with a famous quote from “A Few Good Men.”
“The response of the administration and sadly the response of Senate Democrats [to Benghazi] has been partisan stonewalling rather than trying to get to the truth. In the immortal lines of Jack Nicholson, it makes one think perhaps they can’t handle the truth,” Cruz said. “This is an open offer any time my friend from New Jersey will simply stop blocking a fair, bipartisan, joint inquiry into what what occurred in Benghazi.”