Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a package of measures that would provide $118 million in additional funding for oil spill relief efforts and raise the tax that oil companies pay to maintain an emergency fund.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting congressional approval of the package, Obama said oil giant BP - which owns the leaking well at the source of the Gulf of Mexico spill - was responsible for all clean-up costs. In addition, Obama said, the government would seek full compensation for all damages from BP.
"We cannot allow the potentially protracted pursuit of claims to prevent us from swift action to help those harmed by this spill," Obama said in the letter.
Jeff Liebman, the acting deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the package called for an additional $118 million in spending.
"We expect that the overall majority of that would end up being reimbursed by BP," Liebman said.