September 17, 2014
Washington, D.C.–Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) sent Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) a letter urging him to create a Select Committee on Income Inequality instead of spending as much as 3.3 million tax dollars on another investigation into Benghazi. An analysisfrom Think Progress shows the Republican-led House of Representatives is on track to spend more investigating Benghazi than it does on nine other House committees.
The letter, signed by 25 members of Congress, calls on Speaker Boehner “to focus on the issues that everyday people face instead of spending taxpayer dollars on an investigation that will not help families put food on the table.”
The text of the letter is below. A PDF with signatures is available here.
Dear Speaker Boehner:
The loss of four American lives, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, on September 11, 2012 was a terrible tragedy. However, your decision to establish yet another investigation into Benghazi despite the thirteen hearings across eight different Congressional Committees, twenty-five thousand pages of documents and fifty briefings is redundant. Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry and other Obama administration officials have answered repeated questions on this issue and we believe that Congress should refocus its attention on issues that address the real economic struggles of the American people. Thus, we urge you to establish a Select Committee on Income Inequality to focus on the issues that everyday people face instead of spending taxpayer dollars on an investigation that will not help families put food on the table.
As Members of Congress, we remain focused on the issues that touch Americans in their everyday lives. The growing income divide in America is no secret. Hardworking people can’t find work, and when they do, their wages aren’t always enough to cover their day-to-day needs. Renowned economist Thomas Piketty recently found that for the majority of people who work for a living, income inequality in America is “probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world.” We find this unconscionable and it cannot continue.
Mr. Speaker, with respect to economic security in this country, you yourself recently said that “the American people are concerned about this issue, and our priorities will continue to be the priorities of the American people.” Yet we wonder why you continue to prioritize politics over policies that will help create good paying jobs that narrow the income gap. If House Republicans are serious about focusing on jobs and our economy, we again urge you to establish a Select Committee on Income Inequality to investigate and develop common sense solutions to our country’s widening income gap.
What happened in Benghazi was a tragedy, not a politically motivated scandal. No amount of hearings or select committees will change that fact. We urge you to stop the political witch-hunt and focus on the issues that touch people at their kitchen tables.
# # #