House Republicans are still doing crisis management after Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested the Select Committee on Benghazi helped sink Hillary Rodham Clinton’s poll numbers — and Democrats are still beating the drum about that rhetorical flap .
As GOP lawmakers were about head into a special conference meeting Thursday to nominate Speaker John A. Boehner’s successor, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi signaled it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that Democrats on the Benghazi panel might call it quits. “They have their evaluations of if it’s even worth it to continue,” the California Democrat told reporters at her weekly news conference, “and I seek their guidance as to when it would be appropriate to walk away from that.
“As you know,” Pelosi continued, “It was a big debate before we even appointed people. Some people said it was a joke, don’t go anywhere near it; others said it is a joke but [Republicans are] going to have subpoena power and probably engage in abuse of power.”
Democrats will have to face another choice about making appointments to a Republican-spearheaded select committee in the days ahead, now that the House has passed a measure to establish a special Energy and Commerce subcommittee to investigate allegations that Planned Parenthood illegally sold fetal tissue.
In the meantime, McCarthy, the presumptive favorite to win his conference’s nomination for speaker Thursday, will have to endure reminders of his comments on Fox News between now and Oct. 22, when Clinton is scheduled to testify in front of the Benghazi Committee, and Oct. 29, when all the House members gather on the floor to formally elect a new speaker.
Democrats show few signs of diminishing their feelings of empowerment over the whole episode.
“We see by McCarthy’s own admission it was an abuse of power for a political purpose,” Pelosi said.
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