An influential group of Senate Democrats just called on House Republicans to put an end to the interminable “investigation” into the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, after it was revealed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in a fleeting moment of honesty, that the investigatory committee was little more than a political attack aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Democrats calling for an end to the wasteful Benghazi panel include Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Patty Murray (D-WA). In a letter to outgoing Speaker John Boehner, the outraged Democrats wrote:
“It is unconscionable that the U.S. House of Representatives is continuing to use millions of dollars in taxpayer funds for political purposes, and we urge you to immediately disband the Select Committee on Benghazi.”
The panel on Benghazi has become the longest-running investigation in congressional history, surpassing the investigations into the attack on Pearl Harbor and the assassination of J.F.K. In addition, it is a colossal waste of taxpayer money, already costing over $3 million, and projected to total more than $6 million in the end.
Democrats have fought long and hard to stop this abuse of taxpayer funds, but the battle has come to a head after McCarthy, who is favored to replace Boehner as Speaker of the House, claimed that the committee was actually a success because it had affected Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers:
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.”
McCarthy’s careless admission confirms what critics have been claiming all along, that the GOP’s investigation is nothing more than a smear campaign against a prominent Democratic rival.
The Republicans’ attempt to exploit the tragic deaths of four brave Americans for personal political gain is reprehensible, and doing it with taxpayer money is even more disgusting. As Clinton stated in an interview with MSNBC, “It does a grave disservice and dishonors not just the memory of the four that we lost, but of everybody who has served our country. I really regret the way that they have treated this serious matter.”
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member of the Benghazi committee, echoed Clinton’s sentiments in a statement to the press: “It is shameful that Republicans have used this tragedy and the deaths of our fellow Americans for political gain. Republicans have blatantly abused their authority in Congress by spending more than $4.5 million in taxpayer funds to pay for a political campaign against Hillary Clinton.”
As Republicans prepare to waste more public funds in their campaign against Planned Parenthood for accusations that have been systematically discredited, we must call for an end to such “investigations,” which are in fact nothing more than taxpayer funded political attacks against the Democratic Party.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.