South Carolina GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy leaves a closed-door Republican strategy meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday. Gowdy has been tapped to lead the new Benghazi investigative committee. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The House voted on Thursday to establish a new investigative committee to look into circumstances surrounding the attack two years ago on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador and three others.
Republicans accuse the White House of misleading the public about the nature of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and stonewalling efforts by Congress to investigate. Democrats see the creation of the new investigative committee as an election-year political ploy to raise money and motivate the party’s base.
All Republicans voted for the measure, as did seven Democrats. The vote was 232-186.
The resolution calls for a panel of seven Republicans and five Democrats. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer, the minority whip, denounced the Republican decision to ignore Democratic calls for an evenly split panel.
Politico reports that Pelosi is considering a Democratic boycott of the special committee or appointing fewer Democrats than allotted as a symbolic protest.
House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said last week that he would ask the chamber to vote on whether to create the select committee. At the same time, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, issued a subpoena to force Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about the attacks.
Boehner has tapped South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Tea Party-leaning Republican, to head the committee.