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“Benghazi, The Cost Of An Obsession”: A Farcical Waste Of Time And Money

The furious, year-and-a-half-old effort to turn the deadly Benghazi attack into a Watergate-level scandal has so far failed. Naturally that hasn’t stopped Republicans from howling at hearings and turning over seat cushions in search of evidence. “Naturally,” because the Republican base has so far embraced these tactics.

But the Democrats, who for the most part have responded to the hysteria with loud sighs, are increasing their efforts to change the politics of the endless investigation by showing that it’s a farcical waste of time and money.

So it was that on Monday Nancy Pelosi provided journalists with a document revealing this year’s anticipated operating costs for the 12-member select committee on the Benghazi attacks. House Republicans have apparently requested $3.3 million for the panel, which will be composed of seven Republican lawmakers, five Democrats and an expected staff of 30.

USA Today put that figure in perspective:

Since the Benghazi committee was created in May, its full-year equivalent budget would be more than $5 million. This is more than the House Intelligence Committee, which has a $4.4 million budget this year and spent $4.1 million last year. The largest House committees — Energy and Commerce; Oversight and Government Reform; Transportation and Infrastructure — have budgets between $8 million and $9.5 million for the year.

A special committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming created by Democrats in 2007 spent about $2 million a year until it was shut down by the new Republican majority in January 2011.

The $3.3 million doesn’t count as a new expenditure since it will come from legislative branch funds that have already been appropriated. But this kind of profligacy won’t help the Republicans sell themselves as fiscal conservatives.

 

By: Juliet Lapados, Taking Note, Editor’s Blog, The New York Times, July 8, 2014

July 9, 2014 - Posted by | Benghazi, House Republicans | , , , , , ,

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