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How Republicans cut Benghazi security and blamed Hillary

On Benghazi, Democrats should boycott the Republican show trial and play offense -- not defense

Republicans have launched another crazy Benghazi witch hunt, forming a House committee to grandstand over the attacks again – a wasteful and desperate attempt to damage Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Yet if Democrats wise up and point out how the Republican Party cut State Department funding for embassy security over Hillary’s objections, Republicans will end up damaging themselves.

Already, CNN has long since forced Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) to admit that since gaining power in 2010, his party repeatedly refused Sec. of State Clinton’s requests for additional security funding.

Trying to explain the hypocrisy of cutting security requests while scapegoating Obama and Hillary, Chaffetz could only sputter, “When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices.”

Cold comfort to the families of the four Americans killed in Benghazi by the stinginess of the same congressional conservatives now attempting, as usual, to project their failures onto Democrats.

As reported when it happened, House Republicans voted in 2009 to cut $1.2 billion and 300 security jobs from the State Department, but were blocked by concerned Democrats. Unfortunately, after taking control of the House in 2010, Republicans successfully cut the Obama administration’s diplomatic security requests by $128 million.

In February 2011, over a year and a half before Benghazi, Hillary warned that the Tea Party’s continued refusal to adequately fund her State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection infrastructure was “detrimental to America’s national security.”

Republicans ignored her. Instead, conservatives cut an additional $331 million from embassy security for 2012, and then promptly proposed $216 million more cuts for fiscal year 2013. In fact, Paul Ryan’s budgets would have slashed $400 million from State Department security by 2014 while giving breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a close ally of Hillary, slammed the Republican diplomacy cuts at the time as “a disturbing example of the Republicans’ meat-ax approach to cutting every aspect of the government, no matter how essential.”

As ambulance-chasing conservatives exploit the Benghazi tragedy for money and politics, it is now essential that Democrats start playing offense. Democrats should boycott the Republican Benghazi kangaroo court and instead remind voters daily that Republican greed put American diplomats like Ambassador Stevens and his murdered colleagues at risk.