US House votes Benghazi panel, Democrats consider boycott

WASHINGTON - The Republican-run US House of Representatives voted along party lines on Thursday to set up a committee to investigate the 2012 attacks on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Unhappy Democrats were considering boycotting the panel.
The House voted 232-186 to set up a 12-member special investigative committee. It is expected to be chaired by South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy and include seven Republicans and five Democrats.
Democrats had sought an evenly divided panel, but Republicans prevailed with the argument that they should have a majority on the committee because they were elected to majority status in the House.
Armed militants attacked US diplomatic posts in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, killing US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Republicans accuse the administration of doing too little to repulse the attacks and later creating a smokescreen around the events to protect President Barack Obama's image as tough on terrorism and help boost his re-election chances in November 2012.
Although there have been numerous investigations by congressional committees and a State Department "Accountability Review Board," Republicans say the Obama administration has not provided all the relevant information about the reasons for the attacks and how the administration responded to them.
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