Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Pelosi Wants Meeting on Benghazi Committee Rules With Boehner

Pelosi wants to meet with Boehner on the newly established Benghazi committee

Pelosi wants to meet with Boehner to discuss the newly established Benghazi committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Democrats will decide whether to participate in the newly formed House Benghazi committee once she’s met with Speaker John A. Boehner to discuss concerns that control of the panel is tilted too heavily toward the Republican majority.

The California Democrat on Friday talked with reporters about the concept of meeting with Boehner about the new Benghazi committee. The Ohio Republican suggested letting staffers handle negotiations on rules for the new House panel investigating the attacks that led to the death of four Americans, including an ambassador.

“The speaker called me the other day. He said, ‘I’m very serious about this, I want this to be no circus. … We should sit down and come to terms on it,’” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference Friday morning. “‘Fine,’ I said, ‘I can be there in a minute.’”

Pelosi sent a letter to the speaker later Friday rejecting the conditions set out by the GOP as “fundamentally unfair,” and asking again for a face-to-face meeting.

Citing recent clashes between House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and the ranking Democrat on that panel, Maryland’s Elijah E. Cummings, Pelosi wrote: “The proposal does not prevent the unacceptable and repeated abuses … in any meaningful way.”

It’s unclear when a meeting would take place, with members back in their districts for recess next week and a GOP leadership aide insisting that Republicans had already responded in writing to Pelosi’s requests and that the ball was now in Democrats’ court.

“We made a fair offer. We hope they appoint members. At this point, it’s time to get to work,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

In the meantime, she is getting an earful from her caucus, which met earlier Friday to hash out options: Participate fully in order to keep tabs on Republican activity; appoint just one member in order to have someone in the room but still send a signal that Democrats don’t support the exercise; or boycott the committee entirely on the grounds that it amounts to a “political stunt,” as Pelosi called it, ahead of the midterm elections.

Pelosi demurred when she was asked what tactic she was inclined to support, even though reports earlier in the week suggested that her preference would be to boycott the panel.

She remained adamant that the special committee was nothing more than a Republican “diversion” and “subterfuge” for all the bills the GOP won’t bring up, like an unemployment insurance extension or an increase to the minimum wage.

She expressed skepticism that Boehner’s appointee to serve as chairman of the new panel, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., was out for blood, not for facts, and rebuffed Republican criticisms that she, during her own tenure as speaker, convened a one-off committee on climate change that had an uneven distribution of Democrats and Republicans.

“It was a four year committee. It was only established so we could get a couple of bills done,” Pelosi said. “The record there is, it was only one subpoena in four years issued, and it was unanimous. It was unanimous. So this is a completely different set-up.”

The proposed memorandum of understanding from Boehner said Gowdy will “endeavor” to include the minority, according to a Democratic source.

But it would allow Gowdy, if he thinks consulting with the minority is not “practicable,” to issue subpoenas, exclude minority staff from witness interviews and deny the minority equal access to witnesses.

Clarification 5:06 p.m.

The second paragraph of this post has been clarified.

Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.

  • Chas Holman

    All I know is if the GO(t)P spent HALF the time they have on 4 Dead Americans in Benghazi, on the hundreds of millions of living Americans here back home, we might have a comprehensive Jobs bill by now. All I can gather from 6 years of these clowns is they got nothing but tossing poo at a fan and hoping something sticks, hoping to kill two more years, no matter who it effects in between. Utterly obscene.

    • CaptDMO

      Well, you see, when the SENATE speaker’s ideas of what a JOB actually IS, what merit means, and how real estate works, and spends HIS time on the floor in “New rules” for parliamentary procedure, campaign protections, and tin hat lunacy redefining what’s important, while “excusing” gross criminal actions.
      Of course, minority “leader” (by unusual circumstances) Pelosi had EVERY opportunity to encourage “her” people to remove the obstructions to manufacturing, and “extra” labor expenses, that dissolve private sector employment, but apparently gub’mint jobs, with inexplicable bonuses for
      “showing up” and stalling actual “progress” has been “her people’s” reason for living.
      I challenge “chas”, et cet.) to score who spends the most time “flinging poo”.
      I challenge “chas” et cet., to score who has simply wasted ASTONISHING
      amounts of the treasury, with long term, transferable I.O.U.’s for “payment”, on “other than National interests”, along with the astonishing “legal and banking interest” fees to do so.

    • NukeWaste

      You have no understanding whatsoever concerning Economics. The government can’t give you ANY job program. If you want jobs, you have to drop corporate taxes dramatically. Businesses don’t operate to provide jobs. Pull your head out of your a$$ and start your own company! Oh! You can’t! You have no idea what that requires. Go back to your minor skills job and pray that we don’t replace you with a robot.

      • Jack Everett

        Gather the unemployed workers together and ask them why they are still looking up to see if the trickle down jobs are trickling down yet?

  • Brenda Huddleston

    It is clear that honesty was not the policy where Benghazi is concerned There is NOTHING wrong with the American people asking for the truth, The Democrats have had ample time to give their side, and have chosen not to do anything except try to cover up and delay the information requested. Yes, 4 dead Americans deserve to have the truth come out, and to have our government find the killers. The President and Secretary of State owe their families that at the very least. They were there serving their country. Perhaps if it were you or one of your family members Chas Holman, you would think it was worth the effort.

    • William Neal Fancher Jr

      Has Nancy ever revealed the names of the two families that contacted her and asked her to stop the investigation?

  • Donald Wade

    If I was Boehner, I would tell Nancy the same things that she told the GOP when they wanted input and amendments on Obamacare. “f*ck off nancy”

    • William Neal Fancher Jr

      Hell yea!!!

  • Janet

    Scru YOU, Nancy. In the Senate, YOU WON. In the House, REPUBLICANS WON. Deal with it, Nancy. Enough of your mind control games and LIES.

    If the Dems would just TELL THE TRUTH from the beginning, we wouldn’t need endless hearings trying to get at the truth!!!

    • NukeWaste

      Dems telling the truth don’t win elections. I wish there was something we could give to these assholes that would make them tell the truth. How do you think Black people would feel if DemoRats said to their faces what is said behind their backs.

    • Jack Everett

      If wing nuts had an agenda they would not be asking for campaign donations off our dead public servants.

  • brunsk42

    So as usual it’s ok for liberals to do and get away with but not for republicans.. There scared Obama is going down, between this the I.R.S. fast-n-furious, and many, many more,, they are starting to run out of wagons to circle and protect the liar in chief with.

  • Beachguy53

    Hey Nancy you dimwit, “Elections have consequences!”. How’s it feel when the shoe is on the other foot?

    • Timothy Thompson

      Yea as Obama said in his meeting with Republican he said look we won the election sit down and shut up! Feels good Nancy? Keep up the good work and hopefully you have paid up your facelift payments.

  • Greenie Beanie

    In the US, each inhabitant’s share of the interest on the central government’s debt is about $1,386 per year.

  • erick

    CIA documents prove that Osama Darrell Issa the republican Taliban planned the attack at Benghazi. Osama Darrel Issa was Bin Laden’s top Arab terrorist as he was instrumental in the 9/11 operation.

  • merryinfidel

    Somebody should tell pelosi what she can go do to a rolling doughnut.

  • ExposeThem

    Trey Gowdy should make the rules. He’ll be in charge, right? As for Nancy Pelosi, she would tell the other side that this is how it will be. Period. She so desparately wants that big gavel back. Lol!

    • Jack Everett

      Gowdy already did tell the crony fascists not to make a fun raising issue out of Benghazi.

  • William Neal Fancher Jr

    If Pelosi and the democratic leadership are worried about the committee “leaning in favor of the Republicans”, perhaps Pelosi and the Dems should have called a “investigative committee” themselves.

  • travis690

    I have just one question: Is Nancy Pelosi serious?

    When she was Speaker Pelosi, NO committees of the House had equal representation of the parties. In fact, during the first State of the Union speech by Obama, she insisted that the Republicans and Democrats sit in the chamber intermixed instead of the traditional positioning on opposite sides of the House chamber. Her stated reason was “so it didn’t look like only one side was the only ones applauding”. As such, her suggestions don’t deserve to be seriously considered.

  • Kevj1

    I am so ashamed to have Pelosi, Reed and Odrama represent us and to see these skill challenged over paid phonies convince the Media and their minions is nauseating. If Nancy and Reed think these proceedings are a CIRCUS, then sell them tickets in the form of a subpoena. Congress asked for ALL information concerning Benghazi, and it took a court order to force them to comply! If one of my loved one’s died, I would not care how many hearings it took, nor how long it took. When I see this DITZ, It reminds me of that commercial the Dems used where at the end that woman say’s :” Mitt Romney – makes me sick”. Screw U Nancy.

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