Legislators seek to ramp up Benghazi investigation

Members of the House of Representatives recently stepped up efforts to investigate the attacks on American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) introduced legislation last week that would offer a $5 million reward for information on the attacks. The measure would require Secretary of State John Kerry to reward anyone who provides information that leads to the capture of a suspect. Similar initiatives were previously administered through the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program.

Burgess said 19 months have passed without justice since the attacks in Benghazi claimed the lives of four Americans.

“The families of the brave Americans who paid the ultimate price in Benghazi deserve peace after all of this time,” Burgess said. “While the Obama administration’s refusal to prioritize this investigation has certainly set us back on achieving that goal of justice, we as a Congress are doing whatever we can to get to the bottom of what happened in order to ensure a tragic event like never happens again. This bill is an important step towards closing the book on Benghazi once and for all.”

House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced last week that he supported forming a select committee to investigate the attacks in Benghazi and would bring the matter to a vote.

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) previously introduced legislation that called for the formation of a select committee.

“The White House’s inability to answer basic questions and provide accurate information about what happened that night is why I have co-sponsored H.R. 36, which calls for a select committee,” Gardner said.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), a co-sponsor of Gardner’s bill, said the Obama administration has “repeatedly” withheld information and obstructed efforts to investigate the matter.

“This select committee is a necessary step to ensure the American people get the answers they deserve,” Blackburn said. “The American people deserve to know the truth. And if anyone in the Obama administration intentionally misled the American people for political reasons, they should immediately be removed from their position and brought to justice.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said House committees have uncovered “a great deal of information” on the attacks.

“Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s continued obstruction has made clear that it is time for a House select committee to force the administration to end its stonewalling and come clean to congressional investigators, an inquiring media and the American public,” Cantor said.