Republican Joe Barton Retracts Apology To BP, Tony Hayward, video
Update: Joe Barton BP Apology Retraction
Republican Congressman has retracted his apology to BP. Barton had apologized to Tony Hayward the CEO of BP for what Barton called a "$20 Billion Shakedown" of BP from the White House.
Barton has now issued a retraction - in effect he has apologized for his BP apology.
"I apologize for using the term 'shakedown' with regard to yesterday's actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP," he said. "...I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident."
Rep Joe Barton BP Apology Video: Barton Apologizes To BP CEO Tony Hayward During Congressional Testimony To House Energy Committee
In a political risky move Republican representative Joe Barton called the the $20 Billion dollar Escrow Fund a "shakedown, and a "slush fund."
BP CEO Tony Hayward was testifying before the House Energy Committee where he was roundly spanked by Democrats and Republicans alike, with the exception of Rep. Joe Barton.
Joe Barton said he was only speaking for himself and not for the Republican party.
Barton said "It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case, a $20 billion shakedown,”
The White House was quick to respond with a statement from Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
What is shameful is that Joe Barton seems to have more concern for big corporations that caused this disaster than the fishermen, small business owners and communities whose lives have been devastated by the destruction,” Gibbs said.
Joe Barton is from Texas and counts the oil industry as one of his major contributors.
Since 1989 Barton has received $1,447,880 from the oil industry according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Though Barton said he was speaking for himself and not the entire GOP, other Republicans agree with Barton. Georgia Republican Tom Price, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee said
Price said BP's willingness to go along with the White House's new fund suggests that the Obama administration is "hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics."
"These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this administration's drive for greater power and control," Price said.
And former Texas Republican Representative Dick Armey, a leading voice in the conservative Tea Party movement, told a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this week that Obama lacks the constitutional authority to set up such a fund.
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