S. RES. 594
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
November 14, 2012
Mr. McCain (for himself, Mr. Graham, and Ms. Ayotte) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration
Establishing a select committee of the Senate to make a thorough and complete investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding, and the response of the United States Government to, the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks against the United States consulate and personnel in Benghazi, Libya, and to make recommendations to prevent similar attacks in the future.
Whereas, on September 11, 2012, Glen A. Doherty, Tyrone S. Woods, Sean P. Smith, and Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens were murdered during a sophisticated assault on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, conducted by a group of militants affiliated with al-Qaeda;
Whereas this tragedy has raised many important questions that affect the national security of the United States and the safety of Americans who serve our country abroad;
Whereas Congress has an unique and essential responsibility under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch;
Whereas more than two months have passed since the tragic deaths of these four Americans in Benghazi, and many essential questions remain unanswered;
Whereas Members of Congress have sent numerous letters to senior Executive Branch officials requesting information on the events of September 11, 2012, most of which have not been answered;
Whereas the Executive Branch has not been forthcoming in providing answers to the many questions that have emerged regarding those events;
Whereas the failures that led to the deaths of four Americans traverse multiple Executive Branch agencies and come under the jurisdiction of a number of Senate committees, including the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Select Committee on Intelligence;
Whereas several different committees of jurisdiction in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are currently holding briefings and hearings to analyze narrow aspects of the overall failure in Benghazi before, during, and after the attacks;
Whereas the death of four Americans in Benghazi was the result of a whole-of-government failure, and any solution to prevent such events from happening again will need to be holistic and comprehensive, cutting across agency jurisdictions and jurisdictions of committees of Congress;
Whereas a full and independent accounting of the failures in Benghazi and the development of a comprehensive solution to prevent such tragedies in the future require the establishment of a temporary Select Committee in the Senate;
Whereas many other important investigations have been conducted in the past through the creation of a select committee of the Senate for a specific purpose and a set time; and
Whereas the American people deserve straight answers to the many questions that have been raised about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi and what actions should be taken to prevent similar attacks in the future: Now, therefore, be it
Select Committee on Investigation of the September 11, 2012, Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya
There is established a select committee of the Senate to be known as the Select Committee on Investigation of the September 11, 2012, Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi, Libya (in this resolution referred to as the Select Committee).
Purpose and duties
The purpose of the Select Committee is to—
investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the United States consulate and personnel in Benghazi, Libya;
investigate the response of the United States Government to those attacks; and
make recommendations to guide executive and legislative changes to policy in light of such investigations.
The Select Committee is authorized and directed to do everything necessary or appropriate to conduct the investigations specified in subsection (a). Without restricting in any way the authority conferred on the Select Committee by the preceding sentence, the Senate further expressly authorizes and directs the Select Committee to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the United States consulate and personnel in Benghazi, Libya, and report on such investigation, regarding the following matters, including, where applicable, the adequacy of such matters:
The intelligence assessments and other threat reporting that preceded the attacks.
The security measures and manpower decisions taken to protect United States personnel in Benghazi before the attacks.
The United States military force posture in the region at the time of the attacks and the resulting ability of the United States Armed Forces to respond in the event of such attacks.
United States intelligence assets available in the region at the time of the attacks and their ability to respond or assist the United States consulate and personnel in the event of such attacks.
The response of United States Government officials once the attacks began.
The public characterization by the Executive Branch of the attacks in the days and weeks that followed the attacks.
United States intelligence and intelligence-sharing during the attacks.
Lessons learned from the attacks.
Actions to prevent a recurrence of such attacks.
Composition of Select Committee
The Select Committee shall consist of eight members of the Senate of whom—
four members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; and
four members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.
The appointments of the members of the Select Committee shall be made not later than 30 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution.
Any vacancy in the Select Committee shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
Service of a Senator as a member, Chair, or Vice Chair of the Select Committee shall not be taken into account for the purposes of paragraph (4) of rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate.
Chair and vice chair
The Chair of the Select Committee shall be designated by the majority leader of the Senate, and the Vice Chair of the Select Committee shall be designated by the minority leader of the Senate.
Reports and recommendations
A majority of the members of the Select Committee shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of reporting a matter or recommendation to the Senate.
One member of the Select Committee shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of taking testimony.
A majority of the members of the Select Committee, or 1/3 of the members of the Select Committee if at least one member of the minority party is present, shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting any other business of the Select Committee.
Rules and procedures
Governance under standing rules of senate
Except as otherwise specifically provided in this resolution, the investigation and hearings conducted by the Select Committee shall be governed by the Standing Rules of the Senate.
Additional rules and procedures
The Select Committee may adopt additional rules or procedures if the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Select Committee agree, or if the Select Committee by majority vote so decides, that such additional rules or procedures are necessary or advisable to enable the Select Committee to conduct the investigation and hearings authorized by this resolution. Any such additional rules and procedures—
shall not be inconsistent with this resolution or the Standing Rules of the Senate; and
shall become effective upon publication in the Congressional Record.
Authority of Select Committee
The Select Committee may exercise all of the powers and responsibilities of a committee under rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate.
The Select Committee or, at its direction, any subcommittee or member of the Select Committee, may, for the purpose of carrying out this resolution—
sit and act at any time or place during the sessions, recess, and adjournment periods of the Senate;
authorize and require, by issuance of subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the preservation and production of books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, documents, tapes, and any other materials in whatever form the Select Committee considers advisable;
take testimony, orally, by sworn statement, by sworn written interrogatory, or by deposition, and authorize staff members to do the same; and
issue letters rogatory and requests, through appropriate channels, for any other means of international assistance.
Authorization, issuance, and enforcement of subpoenas
Authorization and issuance
Subpoenas authorized and issued under this section—
may be done—
with the joint concurrence of the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Select Committee; or
by a majority vote of the Committee;
shall bear the signature of the Chair or the Vice Chair or the designee of the Chair or the Vice Chair; and
shall be served by any person or class of persons designated by the Chair or the Vice Chair for that purpose anywhere within or without the borders of the United States to the full extent provided by law.
The Select Committee may make to the Senate by report or resolution any recommendation, including a recommendation for criminal or civil enforcement, that the Select Committee considers appropriate with respect to—
the failure or refusal of any person to appear at a hearing or deposition or to produce or preserve documents or materials described in subsection (b)(4) in obedience to a subpoena or order of the Select Committee;
the failure or refusal of any person to answer questions truthfully and completely during the person’s appearance as a witness at a hearing or deposition of the Select Committee; or
the failure or refusal of any person to comply with any subpoena or order issued under the authority of subsection (b).
Avoidance of duplication
To expedite the investigation, avoid duplication, and promote efficiency under this resolution, the Select Committee shall seek to—
confer with other investigations into the matters set forth in section 2(a); and
access all information and materials acquired or developed in such other investigations.
Access to information and materials
The Select Committee shall have, to the fullest extent permitted by law, access to any such information or materials obtained by any other governmental department, agency, or body investigating the matters set forth in section 2(a).
The Select Committee shall submit to the Senate a report on the investigation conducted pursuant to section 2 not later than five months after the appointment of all of the members of the Select Committee.
The Select Committee shall submit to the Senate a final report on such investigation not later than 10 months after the appointment of all of the members of the Select Committee.
The Select Committee may submit to the Senate any additional report or reports that the Select Committee considers appropriate.
Findings and recommendations
The reports under this section shall include findings and recommendations of the Select Committee regarding the matters considered under section 2.
Disposition of reports
All reports made by the Select Committee shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Senate. All reports made by the Select Committee shall be referred to the committee or committees that have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the report.
The Select Committee may employ in accordance with paragraph (2) a staff composed of such clerical, investigatory, legal, technical, and other personnel as the Select Committee, or the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Select Committee, considers necessary or appropriate.
Appointment of staff
The staff of the Select Committee shall consist of such personnel as the Chair and the Vice Chair shall jointly appoint. Such staff may be removed jointly by the Chair and the Vice Chair, and shall work under the joint general supervision and direction of the Chair and the Vice Chair.
The Chair and the Vice Chair of the Select Committee shall jointly fix the compensation of all personnel of the staff of the Select Committee.
Reimbursement of expenses
The Select Committee may reimburse the members of its staff for travel, subsistence, and other necessary expenses incurred by such staff members in the performance of their functions for the Select Committee.
Services of senate staff
The Select Committee may use, with the prior consent of the chair of any other committee of the Senate or the chair of any subcommittee of any committee of the Senate, the facilities of any other committee of the Senate, or the services of any members of the staff of such committee or subcommittee, whenever the Select Committee or the Chair or the Vice Chair of the Select Committee considers that such action is necessary or appropriate to enable the Select Committee to carry out its responsibilities, duties, or functions under this resolution.
Detail of employees
The Select Committee may use on a reimbursable basis, with the prior consent of the head of the department or agency of Government concerned and the approval of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate, the services of personnel of such department or agency.
Temporary and intermittent services
The Select Committee may procure the temporary or intermittent services of individual consultants, or organizations thereof.
Payment of expenses
There shall be paid out of the applicable accounts of the Senate such sums as may be necessary for the expenses of the Select Committee. Such payments shall be made on vouchers signed by the Chair of the Select Committee and approved in the manner directed by the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate. Amounts made available under this subsection shall be expended in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate.
Effective date; termination
This resolution shall take effect on the date of the adoption of this resolution.
The Select Committee shall terminate two months after the submittal of the report required by section 6(b).