Republicans have been doing their best to stir the violence in Benghazi into a scandal to hang around the neck of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. But there’s a problem, as Dana Milbank points out —
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 Departmentâ€™s Worldwide Security Protection program â€” well below the $2.15â€‰billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administrationâ€™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 administrationâ€™s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicansâ€™ proposed cuts to her department would be â€œdetrimental to Americaâ€™s national securityâ€ â€” a charge Republicans rejected.