DeLauro on Benghazi: Appoint only one Democrat to new committee

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, whose district includes a part of Shelton, is urging Democrats to appoint one member to a new U.S. House select committee formed to look in the 2012 terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

House Republicans, who control that chamber of Congress, have voted to create a select committee with seven Republicans and five Democrats as members.

Some Democrats have suggested boycotting the select committee by not appointing any members, while other Democrats have said the party should appoint all five allotted slots to have a maximum say on what the panel does.

Should have a voice, should engage

“One discussed option is to name a full complement of five Democratic members to monitor and engage in the process,” said DeLauro, a Democrat in her 12th term.

“Another discussed option is to fully boycott the committee,” she said. “Pursuing this option, however, would leave our caucus with no voice to engage in committee proceedings.”

‘Consider a third option’

DeLauro suggested another approach. “ If there is a sense of the caucus that we should participate, I suggest you consider a third option — naming just one Democratic member as an official panel participant,” she said.

“Such a participant could maintain Democratic access to committee proceedings and material, question witnesses, monitor the House Majority’s activities and provide a powerful voice to raise issues and make appropriate public comments,” DeLauro said.

She criticized the formation of a select committee to look into Benghazi, claiming — like many other Democrats — that the GOP wants to keep the issue alive for political purposes.

“There have already been eight reviews of the events in Benghazi, producing thousands of documents and dozens of interviews with high-level government officials,” DeLauro said. “Democrats are committed to a balanced review of the facts, but now that the House Majority has made a decision to continue politicizing this issue with the establishment of a partisan committee, our caucus must choose how best to respond.”

Shelton has two members of Congress

The city of Shelton is divided between the Third District, represented by DeLauro, and the Fourth District, represented by fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes.

DeLauro lives in New Haven and was first elected to Congress in 1990.