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McKeon says Benghazi is not a political issue

Posted: May 16, 2013 6:25 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2013 6:25 p.m.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, said Thursday that a recent series of controversial topics, such as the inquiry into a terrorist attack on a U.S. embassy in Libya and the investigation into why the Internal Revenue Service applied additional scrutiny to conservative groups, are dominating the discussion on Capitol Hill.

In a conference call interview Thursday afternoon, McKeon addressed several of those topics, including the ongoing saga of the attack of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

While members of the Republican Party have pushed for additional inquiry into the events surrounding the attack, McKeon said he sees the attack not as a chance to score political points but as a way to examine U.S. military policy in the hope of preventing similar attacks in the future.

“I’m not looking for political gain or one-upmanship,” McKeon said. “I just want to learn from any mistakes that might have been made.”

Regarding the revelation that select IRS officials made some conservative organizations go through additional screening to earn tax-exempt non-profit status, McKeon said both Democrats and Republicans have expressed outrage.

“It’s something that I think people on both sides of the aisle are very upset with and it’s just causing huge reaction turmoil here in Washington,” he said.

McKeon also took time to discuss, and criticize, the federal sequestration cuts, which applied across-the-board reductions to the federal budget after legislators failed to hammer out a budget deal earlier this year.

McKeon also said members of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic Senate are no closer to reaching a budget deal.

“It looks to me like we’re heading toward another continuing resolution on Sept. 30 and that’s not a good solution,” McKeon said, referring to a legislative action that delays the deadline for a federal budget compromise.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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