WASHINGTON — A top Republican said more money should be spent to improve diplomatic security after the attack on the U.S. compound in Libya, as Republicans continued their assault of President Barack Obama's handling of the situation.
"We need to start spending that money and not claim that we don't have enough money," Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House oversight committee, said Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation. "If there needs to be supplemental money, of course Congress would respond."
Republicans have led efforts in recent years to cut federal spending as part of a broader campaign to reduce the size of government, and Congress has repeatedly approved lower levels of funding for the State Department than the White House has sought.
The top Democrat on the oversight committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said on the same show that additional money should be made available.
The attacks on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, and continues to roil the presidential campaign as the White House's shifting narrative on the event has led to congressional and administration investigations. The White House initially said the attacks grew from anti-American protests over a Californian's film depiction of the prophet Mohammed, similar to protests in Egypt. But administration officials have since said it was believed to be a terrorist attack.
"Very incompetent or very misleading," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said on the CBS program.
Obama has held a lead on national security issues over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. But criticisms over the White House's handling of the attack have pushed foreign policy issues back to the forefront.
New prime minister: Libyan lawmakers selected Ali Zidan as prime minister on Sunday night, giving the former human rights lawyer and diplomat responsibility for forming the nation's first government since the revolution that toppled Moammar Gadhafi. The selection of Zidan came a week after parliament fired the previous prime minister, Mustafa Abushagur, whose Cabinet nominees were met with protests.