Slaughter, the top Democrat on Rules, sought the amendment on a Republican bill creating a new Select Committee on Planned Parenthood in response to a series of controversial undercover videos about the group. The amendment, should it have been adopted by the House, would have stricken the Planned Parenthood language and instead ordered the dissolution of the Benghazi committee.
The proposed amendment comes in response to a comment from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who last week credited the Benghazi panel with lowering Clinton’s poll numbers. Though he has walked back his remark, the statement is prompting a series of counterattacks from Democrats.
“It’s clear the majority has used the Select Committee on Benghazi to politicize a tragedy,” Slaughter said, adding that the panel “is a clear and undeniable abuse of official staff time, resources and attention. It undermines the work of the House, and it misleads the American public.”
Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) rebutted Slaughter by praising the “work, attention to detail and professional nature” of the panel and its chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.): “I believe that there are serious questions that have properly been raised.”
Slaughter’s amendment proposal failed on a party-line vote.
Democrats are considering a host of actions following McCarthy’s comments. One option would be to file an ethics complaint alleging the panel’s taxpayer-funded work is a misappropriation because it is essentially political in nature.
Democrats are also considering filing a privileged resolution that could call for a rebuke of McCarthy’s comments. Such a move would force GOP lawmakers to vote multiple times this month on the California Republican’s standing, given his likely succession to Rep. John A. Boehner’s (R-Ohio) job as House speaker.