Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) joyfully takes credit for supporting legislation that cut funding for embassy security.
Paul Ryan, Darrel Issa and other House Republicans voted for an amendment in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion from State operations, including funds for 300 more diplomatic security positions.
Under the Paul Ryan's budget, non-defense discretionary spending, which includes State Department funding, would be slashed nearly 20 percent in 2014, which would translate to more than $400 million in additional cuts to embassy security.
Bombshell: The Obama State Department withdrew a 16 member SEAL security team from Benghazi one month before the deadly attacks. This was despite the fact that there were 13 attacks in the country in the past several months.
The House Oversight Committee convened on October 10, 2012 for a hearing in Washington on the security failures that preceded the deadly Benghazi attack which left several dead including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
House Democrats opened Wednesday's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing by attacking Republicans for cuts to embassy security funding — cuts that only happened thanks to overwhelming support from House Democrats, including House Oversight Committee Ranking Democratic member Rep. Elijah Cummings. In fact, more House Democrats -- 149 of them — voted for the cuts than did House Republicans, of which 147 voted for them.
"We have to examine the funding," Cummings said in his opening statement. "The fact is, since 2011, the House has cut embassy security by hundreds of millions of dollars below the amounts requested by the president. The House has done that. The Senate restored some of these funds but the final amounts were still far below the administration's requests and they were far below the levels we enacted in 2010."
Democratic staff on the Oversight Committee circulated a memo to Democratic members on Tuesday evening, too, that also attacks Republicans along the same line of reasoning.
"Since gaining the majority in 2011, House Republicans have voted to reduce embassy security funding by approximately half a billion dollars below the amounts requested by the Obama Administration," the memo reads. "Although the Senate has been able to restore a small portion of these funds, the final appropriations enacted by Congress in the previous two Fiscal Years have been far below the amounts requested by the Administration for embassy security, and far below the levels enacted in Fiscal Year 2010, the last year Democrats controlled the House."
What Cummings and the Democratic Oversight Committee staff are referring to is the final fiscal year 2012 omnibus appropriations package that included $2.075 billion for the programs -- $567.5 million less than the Obama administration's request.
Cummings and the Democratic staff memo don't mention that Democrats made those cuts into embassy security funding possible.
A spokeswoman for Cummings has not returned a request for comment on the matter.
Lt. Col. Andrew Wood testifies before the House Oversight Committee to share his perspective as the former Site Security Team Commander in Libya from February 2012 to August 2012. The Oversight Committee held a hearing entitled, "The Security Failures of Benghazi" on October 10, 2012.