Sept. 20, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Security Needs, Budget Clash

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

That may be little consolation as a political matter. The consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was by no accounts secure. An assault on that facility last week led to the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) have introduced a bill to mandate investigations of not only the deadly attack in Libya but also events that compromised security at U.S. facilities in Egypt and Yemen. The Foreign Relations panel decided not to take up that measure at a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declined to express his view on the events until after an all-Senators meeting scheduled for today with Clinton.

"Secretary Clinton is going to come here tomorrow, and we're going to have an in-depth conversation with her. I've had conversations, but I think at this stage, we should wait until she comes and ... talks to the whole Senate, and she'll do that tomorrow," Reid said Wednesday.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee had scheduled a separate meeting on the matter this morning, which has been scratched from the schedule.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that Clinton would also speak with Members of the House about the still-developing situation. Clinton should arrive expecting further questions about the Libya attack, particularly in light of statements that lawmakers such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have made in recent days.

"To have the White House and our ambassador to the U.N. say that this was a spontaneous attack is obviously an insult to the intelligence of every American, especially those who have heard shots fired in anger," McCain said Wednesday. "You don't bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to spontaneous demonstrations.

"I know from being in Libya and being there in Benghazi and being in Tripoli that there are armed militias that they still haven't gotten under control," McCain said.

He traveled to Libya during the most recent Congressional recess and stayed with Stevens just weeks before his death. Asked Wednesday about the security situation he saw, he acknowledged it was dangerous.

"I was concerned, obviously. But not so concerned that I wouldn't go," McCain said.

Emily Holden contributed to this report.

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