Support for Benghazi Select Committee Growing

GOP lawmakers increasingly in favor of special investigative committee

Libya Consulate / AP

More than two-thirds of Republican House lawmakers now favor establishing a Watergate-style investigatory committee to examine the Benghazi terror attacks.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) has been pushing since last year for the establishment of a House select committee that would streamline and target investigations into the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans.

Support for the committee has gained steam as more information about the Obama administration’s multiple failures during and after the attack have come to light.

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The Benghazi select committee has earned the support of 154 Republicans, 40 of who have signed onto the effort in three weeks following the release of a congressional report that accused senior Obama administration officials of negligence.

Another 15 members have backed the effort in just the past week, with eight signing on to the legislation to create the committee in the past two days, according to Wolf’s office.

Of particular note is the addition of Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. McCaul’s support for the committee has been dubbed a game changer by Capitol Hill sources overseeing the legislation.

Opponents have claimed it would be incredibly expensive and would take a long time to establish despite widespread Republican support for the committee.

Wolf’s office issued a bulletin aimed at dispelling the "misinformation."

"To clarify some misinformation about the legislation we have been hearing," it would not cost $2 million to establish, as some have claimed, Wolf’s office wrote in a Thursday afternoon release. "There is a line in the bill that calls for using existing resources and existing staff."

Additionally, the committee "could be formed immediately and build on what has already been done" regarding Benghazi, according to Wolf’s office. It would not "take months" to assemble the committee as some have claimed.

Wolf’s office also noted that the committee would have subpoena power, meaning that it could summon senior administration officials who have sought to avoid testifying until now.

"By empowering the select committee with this cross-jurisdictional subpoena authority, it will be able to conduct a complete and exhaustive investigation," according to Wolf’s office.

The select committee currently has the support of 20 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, 17 on the Foreign Affairs Committee, 14 on the Judiciary Committee, and 13 on the Government Reform Committee.