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Libya Attack Documents Sought by Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo

“We have important responsibilities to our constituents, who are demanding clear answers to the questions we sent to you. Your lack of response is inhibiting our ability to perform our duties on behalf of our fellow citizens,” they wrote. “We therefore continue to seek answers to our questions and expect a reply as soon as possible.”

In addition to asking about the intelligence situation that has received the most attention, Lieberman and Collins ask Clinton if the diplomatic security budgets for the past three fiscal years have been fully expended and what the effect of unobligated funds might be.

Democrats have criticized House Republicans for proposing a budget that could reduce funding for embassy security, but Republicans continue to talk about the issue. It is likely to resurface on Monday night when President Barack Obama meets Republican challenger Mitt Romney for their final debate. The debate, which will be moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News, is supposed to focus entirely on foreign affairs.

Two top Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote to President Barack Obama today, and they provided him with 166 pages of documents and photographs that they have obtained during their own investigation into the security situation in Libya.

In their letter, Chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.) and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (Utah) raised questions about security in the aftermath of a separate assassination attempt against the British ambassador in the country.

“Information supplied to the committee by senior officials demonstrates that not only did the administration repeatedly reject requests for increased security despite escalating violence, but it also systematically decreased existing security to dangerous and ineffective levels,” Issa and Chaffetz wrote. The House panel held a politically charged hearing on Libya last week.

House Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) was quick to respond to Issa and Chaffetz, accusing them of politicizing the Benghazi attack in advance of Monday's presidential debate. Cummings replied to Issa in his own letter.

"It seems obvious that your goal in sending a public letter at this time is to release the most negative and distorted view possible of the attack in Benghazi ahead of the Presidential debate on Monday evening," Cummings wrote. "This is particularly disturbing given requests by Ambassador Stevens’ family not to politicize his death as part of the campaign."

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