Published September 12, 2012
Several conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing to strip or suspend aid to Libya and Egypt following the deadly attacks Tuesday on U.S. diplomatic offices.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed along with three other Americans in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Attackers also stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, breaching the walls and tearing down a U.S. flag, supposedly in protest over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
House lawmakers are poised to vote as early as Thursday on a stopgap budget bill that would include $20 million for Libya. But several lawmakers were pushing back in the wake of the attacks.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said he was "a no before, but now I'm a hell no."
Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., said it would show "leadership" if President Obama demanded money for both Libya and Egypt be stripped out.
The budget bill does not include a specific line item for Libya. But the bill effectively sustains current funding levels, which were at $20 million for Libya in the latest version. The overall spending plan is meant to avoid an Oct. 1 government shutdown and to keep the government funded for another six months.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Wednesday also called on the government to put conditions on the money to Libya.
"The perpetrators of this senseless attack must be brought to justice. I, therefore, demand that until the Libyan police hand over suspects to U.S officials, any U.S. foreign aid to the government of Libya be contingent on their full support in this matter," he said.
President Obama said earlier that the U.S. would be working with the Libyan government in tracking down the killers.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also said the U.S. should not blame "the people or government of Libya" for the actions of a "small and savage group."
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said Wednesday he would be calling for hearings on the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees to examine intelligence and security questions -- as well as the "appropriate response" to the attacks.
"These attacks, the murder of our ambassador, and the disgraceful treatment of his body must have consequences. The timing of this on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 is more than just coincidence," he said. "There are many disturbing facts about these attacks that raise many troubling questions."
Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.