House Republicans move forward on Benghazi, analyzing testimony for contradictions

A group of House Republicans are reviewing testimony provided by witnesses who have testified in front of congressional committees looking into the 2012 attack on the American compound in Benghazi which claimed the lives of four Americans.

In an interview with United Liberty on Thursday afternoon, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, explained that he and several other House Republicans have been reviewing testimony from congressional witnesses to look for contradictory statements.

Westmoreland said that he went to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) approximately six weeks ago to get his blessing to form a group consisting of members of three key House committees — Oversight and Government Reform, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs. He wanted members with prosecutorial experience to build a potential case.

“We would look at the testimony, we would look at a list of witnesses that have testified in front of Government Oversight and Foreign Affairs,” Westmoreland told United Liberty. “And we would look at them, and we would look at their testimony and see if there [were] any contradictions in testimonies that may have been presented by somebody else at another committee.”

Boehner’s staff contacted Westmoreland two weeks later, offering staff support to assist the group as it reviews some 50,000 pages of testimony and interviews.

“[I]t’s a small group,” said Westmoreland. “We don’t want any big committee chairs, we wanted the average run-of-the-mill kind of guy that could look at this and not be on TV every night, or be doing interviews and trying to make a lot of gain out of it, because the American people, they want to know the truth, and that’s what we’re doing our best.”

Administration can’t determine how many Americans have paid Obamacare premiums

The Obama Administration isn’t able to provide information on how many Americans have paid premiums for health plans selected on the state and federal Obamacare exchanges. Why? Because that part of the backend system hasn’t been built, according to an administration official who testified on Capitol Hill yesterday.

During an appearance yesterday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Gary Cohen, deputy administrator and director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told members that his agency didn’t know how many people had paid their first month’s premium.

“Right now, we are not. But we will be,” Cohen told Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), who had asked about CMS’s ability to collect premium payment information.

“When?” Harper asked.

“As soon as that functionality has been built,” said Cohen. “I think I answered some questions about that earlier, that not all that functionality is built yet.”

“So we don’t know at this point how many have actually paid for coverage?” Harper prodded.

“That’s right,” replied Cohen with a nod.

More signs Healthcare.gov won’t be ready by November 30

During testimony before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, an Obama Administration official admitted that as much as 40% of the IT systems needed to support the federal Obamacare exchange website, Healthcare.gov, still need to be built so that the scheme can function properly.

“How much do we have to build today, still. I mean, what do we need to build — 50%, 40%, 30%?” Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) asked Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“I think it’s — just an approximation — we’re probably sitting somewhere between 60% and 70% [completion],” said Chao, a key official in construction of the website, adding after a follow up that payment systems to insurers still need to be built.

That’s right, folks, the payment system that would send premiums to insurers for the health plans purchased on the federal exchange has not been built.

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