Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO) suggested that budget cuts may be in part to blame for the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. He cited the fact that House Republicans voted in 2011 to cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million.

There are three State Department officials appearing before lawmakers: Mark Thompson, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism; Gregory Hicks, Foreign Service Officer and former Deputy Chief of Mission/Chargé d’Affairs in Libya; and Eric Nordstrom, Diplomatic Security Officer and former Regional Security Officer in Libya. All three consider themselves to be whistleblowersand feel that the State Department’s Accountability Review Board on Benghazi did not adequately reflect their testimony about the attack.

The September 11, 2012 attack killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith at the U.S. Consulate and former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty at a nearby CIA annex.