House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has rejected the terms of a GOP-created select committee on Benghazi, but Republicans are moving ahead without them.
A top aide to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told the Washington Examiner that the Benghazi Select Committee met today for the first time and plans to move ahead with its investigation, despite the missing Democrats.
“We made a fair offer,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “We hope they appoint Democrats. At this point, it’s time to get to work.”
Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected the panel’s terms in letter to Boehner that was in response to GOP proposal about the select panel would operate.
Democrats say they are concerned it will not allow their party to participate fairly in the investigation, which will involve subpoenas and viewing of classified materials related to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
According to a Democratic leadership aide, Pelosi rejects a rule that will not prevent chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., from issuing unilateral subpoenas without consulting with Democrats. The rules would also allow Republicans to prevent Democrats from interviewing witnesses.
Democrats say they do not want a repeat of the investigation conducted by the House Oversight panel, headed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., which they believed was highly politicized: “Regrettably, the proposal does not prevent the unacceptable and repeated abuses committed by Chairman Issa in any meaningful way, and we find it fundamentally unfair.”
Boehner on Friday appointed the six GOP members who will work under Gowdy. They met with Boehner and then separately as a group, an aide said.
The GOP aide said it’s not likely Boehner will change the rules to allow Pelosi to have veto power over subpoenas and witness interviews, which is what they believe she is seeking.
“These are powers the minority never gets,” the aide said.
Democrats had been considering boycotting the committee or perhaps appointing just one member to the panel.