Home News National News Originally published October 10, 2012

Cummings Seeks GOP Support to Restore Embassy Security Funds

by AFRO Staff

    House Oversight Committee Chairman REp. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., right, confers with Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., left, the ranking member, at a hearing to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. State Department officials said Wednesday that security levels at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were adequate for the threat level on the anniversary of 9/11 but that the compound was overrun by an "unprecedented attack" by dozens of heavily armed extremists. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) Oct. 10 asked Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to cross party lines and join him in calling for supplemental funding bill to restore embassy security funding that was cut by the House over the past two fiscal years.
Issa is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Cummings is the ranking Democrat.

“The fact is that, since 2011, the House has cut embassy security by hundreds of millions of dollars below the amounts requested by the President,” Cummings said at an Oct. 10 committee hearing. “Restoring our commitment to embassy security would make a real difference to thousands of Americans who serve our country overseas, often in extremely dangerous circumstances.”

Cummings said if the committee’s goal is to scrutinize security at posts across the Middle East – as Issa claims, “We must examine the consequences of budget cuts.”

House Republicans voted to reduce embassy spending by nearly half a billion dollars since gaining the majority. Even though the Senate was able to restore some of these funds, they were still far below the amounts requested by the Obama administration and those enacted by Democrats in 2010.

Cummings said, “Mr. Chairman, I ask you to join me in calling on our leaders in the House to immediately consider a supplemental funding bill to restore funding for embassy security that was cut by the House over the past two years.”

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Cummings said, the U.S. could save $2.5 billion per year just by eliminating the tax break for oil companies. “Even Republicans now agree that we should do this, including Governor Romney,” Cummings said. “We could fully replenish these embassy security accounts with just a fraction of that amount.”