House Benghazi select committee could cost up to $3.3M

The select committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya could cost taxpayers as much as $3.3 million this year, according to a committee document released by the House Democratic leader's office Monday.

According to the document, which was first reported on by USA Today, the seven Republicans on the 12-member committee would receive just under $2.2 million, while the five Democrats would be budgeted just over $1.1 million. In addition to the members, 30 congressional staffers are expected to work on the committee.

The $3.3 million amount would be more money than is granted the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and the House Ethics Committee. The former committee has 25 members, more than double the number of the Benghazi committee, while the latter has 10 lawmakers.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. slammed the budget as "an appalling breach of the public trust and a stunning abuse of taxpayers' dollars."

Amanda Duvall, a spokeswoman for select committee chair Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said that the $3.3 million amount was "the high end estimate, and we expect there will be less spent as the staffing process is still ongoing, and since not all the staff came on board immediately in May."

Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed on Sept. 11 when militants attacked the diplomatic installation and CIA annex in two separate incidents in the Libyan port city.

The Republican-led House voted in May to establish the select committee to investigate all elements of the assault and its aftermath. Multiple independent, bipartisan and GOP-led inquiries have faulted the State Department for inadequate security in Benghazi, leading to four demotions.

The committee has been moving slowly in hiring staff with security clearance and the probe is expected to extend into next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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