Boehner: Government--i.e. Taxpayers--Should Help Pay For Oil Spill
Brian Beutler | June 10, 2010, 11:19AM
Congressional Democrats and the White House are toying with different ways to force BP to cover the costs of damages from the Gulf oil spill. But they face stiff opposition from industry...and it seems leading Republicans. In response to a question from TPMDC, House Minority Leader John Boehner said he believes taxpayers should help pick up the tab for the clean up.
"I think the people responsible in the oil spill--BP and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there," Boehner said at his weekly press conference this morning.
Boehner's statement followed comments last Friday by US Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue who said he opposes efforts to stick BP, a member of the Chamber, with the bill. "It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game," he said. "Everybody is going to contribute to this clean up. We are all going to have to do it. We are going to have to get the money from the government and from the companies and we will figure out a way to do that."
So today I asked Boehner, "Do you agree with Tom Donohue of the Chamber that the government and taxpayers should pitch in to clean up the oil spill?" The shorter answer is yes.
Le Walk Back Begins
Josh Marshall | June 10, 2010, 1:35PM
Rep. Boehner's office is trying to walk back the leader's comments about taxpayers' needing to help pay for the BP spill clean up. Boehner's office says Boehner didn't understand the question.
Boehner: No, I don't want taxpayer dollars used to clean up after BP
Minority leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is calling a foul on reporters circulating what he told TPMDC's Brian Beutler this morning -- that "BP and the federal government should take full responsibility for what's happening" in the wake of the oil company's disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, the GOP leader stood by what he's said since May 3 -- "Not a dime of taxpayer money should be used to clean up [BP's] mess."
"He's said for a month now that BP will bear the full burden of this disaster," said Steel.
The "responsibility" Boehner was talking about was not taxpayer money cleaning up the spill. It was whatever reform and restructuring comes after the leak is stopped. As Boehner put it this morning, his preferred plan of action is "figure out what the hell went wrong, and then have the hearing and get the damn law fixed!"
By David Weigel | June 10, 2010; 1:52 PM ET