With Joe Barton's BP apology, Republicans' points lost in oblivion
Republican leaders, in damage-control mode, forced Rep. Joe Barton to apologize for his apology Thursday to BP. Will anyone remember GOP lawmakers' other points?
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During his time in Congress, Barton has received $27,000 in campaign contributions from BP and $1.4 million from the oil and gas industry as a whole.Skip to next paragraph
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“It’s amazing that Representative Barton would stand up for a multinational corporation that has wrecked the livelihoods of so many people along the Gulf Coast,” said David Donnelly, campaign manager for the Campaign for Fair Elections. “Comments like this make all Americans question whether Congress represents them or the special interests funding their campaigns.”
"The DCCC will hold these out-of-touch House Republicans accountable who have no shame when it comes to jumping to the defense of BP and Big Oil," said DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer.
Barton’s overall point – lost the moment he uttered the word “apology” – was that the Obama White House is too involved in micromanaging American business. It violated due process, he said.
“With the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interest of the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund, that [assigning monetary compensation before resolution of a criminal case] is unprecedented in our nation's history, that has got no legal standing, and ... I think sets a terrible precedent for the future,” he said, in remarks opening a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday.
Rep. Edward Markey (D) of Massachusetts countered that he disagreed with Barton “in the strongest possible terms." The $20 billion was not a slush fund, but “the American government working at its best” to protect its most vulnerable citizens. “We can't lose sight of the fact that the 1984 Bhopal disaster [of a toxic gas in India] and the lawsuits that were related to it were only settled last week. We have to ensure that the citizens of the Gulf are protected.”
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