Republicans Are Soft/Weak On National Security


So, with Congress in recess until after the election, why would they hold a hearing on Wednesday, 10 October?

Why?  To embarrass the Democrats because of lax security at the Consulate in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.

I hope the media gives this little tidbit plenty of attention (my bolds)

As if to remind us of this, Rep. Darrell Issa, the indefatigable Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has called a hearing for noon Wednesday even though Congress is in a weeks-long recess. The emergency cause for the hearing? Probing “The Security Failures of Benghazi” — lapses in diplomatic security that led to the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.

The purpose of the pre-election hearing, presumably, is to embarrass the administration for inadequate diplomatic security. But Issa seems unaware of the irony that diplomatic security is inadequate partly because of budget cuts forced by his fellow Republicans in Congress.

For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.

Ryan, Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions. Under Ryan’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security.

And from CNN via The Huffington Post, one of the Republicans who voted to reduce funds for embassy security, Rep Jason Chaffetz (R) Utah

On Wednesday morning, CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien asked the Utah Republican if he had “voted to cut the funding for embassy security.”

“Absolutely,” Chaffetz said. “Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”

Priorities are important.  And acting like an adult and standing by a decision that went wrong is even more important.

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