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Fri, 09 May 2014 17:46:18 +0000
(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner announced on Friday the remaining members he has appointed to the new select committee tasked with investigating the Benghazi, Libya terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012.
In addition to Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who Boehner announced would chair the panel earlier this week, the speaker has selected Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind.; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.; Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala.; Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill.; and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.
"This investigation is about getting answers for the families of the victims and for the American people. These members have each demonstrated a commitment to this goal, and I have confidence that they will lead a serious, fact-based inquiry," Boehner said in a statement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday, meanwhile, called the committee a “political stunt” as she grapples with the decision of whether to appoint any Democrats to the exclusive panel.
“This is a political stunt,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters at the Capitol. “We’ve been there, done this, over and over again.”
Pelosi said she is weighing whether her caucus will boycott the committee, fully participate by filling the slots reserved for Democrats or contribute minimally by appointing a single Democrat to monitor the GOP’s activities on the committee.
She would not tip her hand Friday on which direction she is leaning.
“When I speak with the speaker, I’ll give you an answer as to what that will be,” Pelosi said. “I have confidence that we have extraordinary talent to go into the room to get the job done” if Democrats participate.
While Pelosi considers her options, Boehner briefly huddled in his office with his seven GOP appointees Friday afternoon “to get everybody in same room and let them begin conversations about how the group intends to proceed,” according to a senior Republican aide in the room.
The House voted 232-186 Thursday evening to create the select committee. Pelosi missed the vote while she was in California campaigning with President Obama, although she denied speaking to him about the subject during the visit.
“I’ve had no conversations with the president about this,” she said. “None.”
While Pelosi and Boehner met to discuss the issue briefly Wednesday, several congressional aides say the talks have since remained at the staff level as Democrats seek assurances that the committee will be inclusive.
“The inference to be drawn from our conversation is that we would go to a different place with more clarity about what the rights might be or more specificity [of the committee's rules],” she said. “We have our history, we understand what we’re dealing with, but we really don’t know yet what the speaker is going to say, so let’s find that out.”
The House returns to session on May 19 after a week-long recess.
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