House Republicans will allocate nearly $3.3 million for their committee investigation of the 2012 Benghazi attacks for the rest of the year—that’s more than the Veteran’s Affairs committee had for all of 2014.
The House Select Committee on Benghazi has budgeted $3.29 million in funding for the rest of 2014, a spokesman for the chairman of the committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, confirmed to msnbc. The House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs was allocated $3 million for all of 2014, USA Today reports.
Gowdy’s spokesman Amanda Duvall told msnbc that the budget request is “the high end estimate and we expect less will be spent.” The money, she added, “comes from already-appropriated Legislative Branch funds.”
Because the committee was formed in May, the full-year budget is expected to be more than $5 million, USA Today reports, significantly more than the 4.4 million the House’s intelligence committee was allocated for 2014, though a spokesman for Gowdy would not confirm the full-year budget, saying they haven’t yet set a 2015 budget.
The funding levels of committee budgets are controlled by the majority party, so on the Benghazi committee they are split 2:1, with Republicans on the committee receiving $2.19 million for Republicans and $1.09 million for Democrats. Filling roughly 30 staff positions is currently underway. The budget will include “salaries for staff, technology, IT Support, publications, and document management for classified information,” Duvall said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office released the budget request and called it “an appalling breach of the public trust and a stunning abuse of taxpayers’ dollars.”
“Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have repeatedly used taxpayer resources to fund radical partisan activities designed to gin up the Tea Party and motivate the most extreme rightwing voters,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told NBC News in a statement.
The committee is charged with investigating and issuing a report on what happened the night of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, leaving four dead including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. The GOP and other Congressional groups have been investigating the attacks for more than a year, but the House launched a full committee to take the investigation to the “next level” because “there is clear and compelling evidence the White House was more involved in misleading the American people than it had previously admitted,” a House Republican website writes.
The party isn’t sure how long the pricey special committee will take to investigate the attacks on Benghazi: Duvall said there is no estimated or expected date of completion at this time. They haven’t scheduled a first hearing yet since the committee was established on May 8th, either. Asked in late June if the Committee will be holding hearings in August, Gowdy told NBC News they were “still working that out.”