FOX News: The House voted Thursday to establish a select committee on Benghazi, formally launching a comprehensive and contentious investigation aimed at answering lingering questions about what happened before, during and after the terror attack that killed four Americans.
The House voted 232-186 to approve the panel. The vote breakdown was 225 Republicans and 7 Democrats in favor, with 186 Democrats voting against the measure.
The vote was never in doubt, as majority Republicans largely were united in support of the committee ever since House Speaker John Boehner called for it last week. Unclear is whether Democrats will boycott the investigation itself.
The probe ensures that Benghazi will remain front and center during the midterm election season, something Democrats say is by design. They have slammed the select committee as a partisan, and unnecessary, exercise.
But Republicans argue that individual congressional committee and other investigations have been insufficient in getting at the full truth, pointing in part to emails released last week that had been kept under wraps since 2012. One email – from a White House adviser stressing the role of an anti-Islam web video – is effectively what prompted Boehner to call for the select committee, after months of balking at demands from his rank-and-file to empanel one.
Democrats, aside from blasting the committee as political, also objected to its structure. The committee would have seven Republicans and five Democrats; Democratic leaders petitioned for an even split.
But Boehner defended the makeup of the committee ahead of the vote on Thursday.
“I had a conversation with [House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi] yesterday and made clear that this is a serious investigation, that we want to work together to get to the truth,” he said. “I think the seven-five split is eminently fair, frankly fairer than her Global Warming Committee that she set up.”