House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) late Tuesday released the text of the resolution creating a Select Committee on Benghazi, which he said is needed to uncover details about the attack that killed four Americans in Libya, and the Obama administration’s response.
Boehner said a Select Committee is needed after emails were released making it clear that officials ignored evidence that terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate, and played up the idea of a spontaneous uprising.
“It is unfortunate that it has to come to this, but when four Americans are killed by terrorists in a well-coordinated assault, the American people will not tolerate the evasion we have seen from the White House,” Boehner said.
“In response to the administration’s pattern of obstructing oversight efforts, this Select Committee will be provided special investigatory tools not available to every standing committee of the House.”
According to the text of the resolution, the committee will be made up of seven Republicans and five Democrats. That falls short of Democratic demands that the committee be evenly split between the two parties.
The resolution says the Speaker will choose a member to chair the committee, and Boehner has already said he would pick Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to lead the panel.
The Select Committee will be authored to conduct a “full and complete investigation” into the attacks, and issues that limited the ability of the government to prepare for the attacks. It empowers the Committee to examine all internal government communications following the attack.
And, it calls on the Committee to examine what the administration has done to bring the attackers to justice.
The Committee will be able to issue subpoenas, take depositions and employ staff to carry out its mission.
The Committee will cease to exist once it files a report to the House. But Boehner said the Committee would have as much time as it needs to complete its work.
“[G]iven the administration’s history of slow-walking information, Chairman Gowdy and this panel will be provided as much time as needed to bring forth answers, accountability, and justice,” Boehner said.
“I expect the members of this committee – Republican and Democrat – to exercise these authorities with a single-minded focus of getting the unvarnished truth about what took place leading up to, during, and following the terrorist attack on our consulate in Libya. The American people will accept no less.”