Washington (CNN) - House Republican Leader John Boehner mocked Congress for holding multiple hearings on the BP oil spill before experts have figured out how to halt oil still gushing into the Gulf. He sarcastically called the packed hearing schedule, "Congress at its best."
"You know, why don't we get the oil stopped, alright? Figure out what the hell went wrong, and then have the hearing and get the damn law fixed!" an exasperated Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.
When pressed about whether he supported lifting the liability cap on oil companies or restructuring the federal agency overseeing offshore drilling, the Ohio Republican sidestepped the questions, saying, "I don't know what people have in mind."
Boehner called for a bipartisan approach to oil spill legislation, saying at this point Democrats have not reached out to Republicans. "There is probably a lot that we can do and we can do it together."
Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET with reaction from Democratic Rep. Charlie Melancon, after the jump:
Louisiana Democratic Congressman Charlie Melancon, pushed back on GOP Leader John Boehner's suggestion that Congress was having too many hearings on the oil spill instead of working with experts to stop the spill, telling CNN, "they're haven't been enough yet."
Melancon called for "an extensive investigation," and took a swipe at Republicans, saying, "This is the beginning of what we need to find out just like any investigation. Ask them why they were so concerned about a blue skirt," a reference to the GOP investigation of former President Bill Clinton's relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Melancon said there needed to be more, not fewer hearings by multiple committees. "We're having these hearings because 11 people were killed, and because the environment and the ecosystem, the Gulf of Mexico, and the coastal wetlands along the coast area which are important to this country are all in jeopardy because somebody, somewhere decided to waive the laws and make exceptions, that's why."
OK then, Rep. Boehner, you seem to have all the answers so why haven't you stopped the oil leak? If you know how it can be done and done right now, please share that information.
This is your idea of leadership:
"I don't know what people have in mind."
"There is probably a lot that we can do and we can do it together."
Probably a lot? Like what? We're listening....like what? More "Bluster and Blunder" from the shoot-from-the-hip Republicans. I hear a lot of complaining and blaming but no solutions. I'm sorry but that doesn't stop the leak or clean up the damage. Lead, follow, or get out of the way!
Boehner is a crook. His allegiences to special interests were transparent thru his obstuction to health care reform and now Wall Street reform.
Of course he doesn't want the liability cap lifted. He's only in the pockets of special interests. He could care less about anything that would benefit the interests of this country.
If he can get that leak stopped, why isn't he doing it? I'm fed up with this clown's rhetoric.
Boehner is for Boehner, plain and simple.
Pack your bags Orange Man.
November will be here soon.
I am from Ohio and Boehner has no credibility in what he says about anything. He is pro business just like all the republicans and he doesn't want BP to be hurt. He will not vote to lift the liability cap . As to bipartisan. Thats a joke !!!
You know, at least they are trying to fix the problem you leather skinned hypocrite.
Considering the man was caught in an interview saying the tax payers should be picking up the tab for the spill I somehow doubt hes going to be very bipartisan about making BP pay the costs.
Oh Boneer why don't you and the rest of the Jack Boot right give it a rest. You were asked about supporting legislation removing the cap on damages paid by oil companies. "I don't know what they have in mind" you responded. Yes you do you hack, they want to remove the cap on damages paid by oil companies! I can see your problem. If you vote for that then the people who own you will be angry. I am so sick of the loud mouths of the part of no screaming about nothing getting done.
What??? you Republican idiots have to wait for someone to ask you for your help or your ideas before you will do anything to help this country? Funny how he sidesteps the question about whether he is for or against lifting the liability cap on the Big Oil Companies.....saying "I don't know what the people have in mind".....so what is your opinion? Don't you have one or do you have to wait and see what the majority of the people think and say before you have an opinion of your own........just more of the sorry Grand Standing of the GOP......trying to look like they are concerned......but not doing to much because of fear they will draw attention to themselves for having BP and all the other Big Oil Companies in their back pockets.....
He doesn't want to weigh-in on options, but he wants to work with Democrats to craft legislation. The usual nonsense out of this man's mouth. His state should be embarrassed.
What has he been doing? I know that I wouldn't be surprised if he offered to reduce the cap to $50 million rather than the current $75 million. Let me guess, he believes that the Congress should reduce the regulations so that new and better safety equipment can be installed that don't conform to current regulations? This sounds like he is just blowing his own horn.
First of all it was a very easy question to answer Mr. Boehner. Do you support lifting the liability cap on oil companies? Yes or No? Just pick one or the other. Secondly, since when has Democrats reaching out to the current group of Republicans yielded any results other than a firm HELL NO?
If we had the trillions of dollars back from the wars, we could've built a Dyson Vaccuum the size of Ohio and sucked it all up by now. Shut up and have your tea.
Hey Boehner, aren't YOU a member of congress?????
Fools like Boehner passed the Cheney taskforce deregulation of oil, and the cronyism that led to lax enforcement. He is right though about the need to investigate. I just said what caused it. As far as bipartisanship, the GOP has chosen obstruction, insults, and just plain lies for partisanship as their strategy. Republican talk of reaching across the aisle is crap. Their view of bipartisanship is give the GOP everything, and get nothing in return. The GOP is an unAmerican bunch of overprivileged frat boys playing juvenile games. They have no interest in the good of the USA, only themselves and their puppetmasters and cronies.
Wait a minute -
Am I hearing right?
A republican is actually wanting to do something in a bipartisan way? A republican, a member of the party of NO that has stood in the way of any and everything because they were pitching a temper tantrum because the American people woke up and realized just how useless and ridiculous the GOP was and tossed them out of power - a republican wants to actually work WITH others?
I'm calling Ripley's or That's Incredible. There's no way something like this could happen in our world.
Just another Repug in the pocket of big oil and corp's what a boner!
Like you ever do anything together if it hurts your base – oil companies, financial industry, the rich. On our side, the problem is we focus on the difficult aftermath asking for angry Presidents and we absolve the group that brought this about liek the less regulations, drill baby drill crew (Jindals, Cheneys, Bushes, Steeles, Palins) who now join us in faux outrage and lie they never wanted to drill that far offshore.
Drill Baby Drill. Drill any and all of our onshore and offshore reserves. Offshore drilling has been proven safe. People are hungry to have those oil sources tapped into. – Palin 2008.
Drill Baby Drill – Steele, Giuliani, McCain!
This is the problem with half of this country. They side with their own true enemies. To cap the insult as we speak the same folks are fighting to continue cappingthe liabilities of oil companies who spill oil on our environment.
We REALLY need another angry politician demanding action without the guts to commit to a position on how to fix the problem. Fist-pounding doesn't create answers.
Is he kidding?? Boehner may be the MOST partisan official in all of Washington! How is he able to look into the camera, or for that matter his constituents, with a straight face? He's like a 5 year crying that the big kids won't let him play! You know what Boner? The people have spoken....it's called an election! And what they said is you're right, for now, you need to ride the bench! We had you in the game for years, where did that get us? ARMAGEDDON!!! The big kids are playing, get back on the sidelines and the people will call you when it's time to play!
That's right we want some facts. So having hearings is a bad idea. God I love national GOP logic. Hey what's in that tea y'all are drinkin anyway?
Really? Now – NOW – NOW you want the law fixed? The next thing, you'll probably want the law ENFORCED. Where were you BEFORE THIS DISASTER/CATASTROPHE? Right there with the rest of the Republicans (and a lot of Democrats), with your hand out, taking money from big oil to keep away from regulating and enforcing existing laws to protect us.
And then you have the ignorant bad taste to say: "I don't know what people have in mind."
You're kidding, right? Depending on which "people" you are talking about...
"We The People" want our GOVERNMENT TO GOVERN! Pass and have enforced laws that protect citizens, our property, our environment, OUR rights. OH, and make sure that negligent criminal "Capitalists" pay EVERY PENNY of cost and loss to the people and businesses they have harmed.
Lobbyist "people" want you to keep the cap, making it cheaper for "industry" to disregard safety/environment/humanity in their decision making.
Guys like you make it EASY for thinking people to REALLY dislike the current Republican mindset.
Political posturing at its finest. Interesting that Boehner's faux-outrage comes on the heels of polls indicating that citizens want the president to "go off."
When will the GOP political theater stop?
Gee how surprising, a bunch of lawyers trying to fix the problem...
Unfortunately, to the typical lawyer the problem consists simply of who do I sue, penalize or punish by taking their cash. They do not think like most folk of how to stop the leak, that is what engineer's are for, right? Too bad we don't have some engineers and scientists in Congress instead of what we have....this is a dismal day for our Gulf coast. They're going to force BP to bankrupcy then they will not be able to fund the fix, typical politics. Kill the golden goose!
How do you like all those government jobs posted to clean up the gulf?
Anyone of you unemployed professionals see any yet?
I'm talking engineers, biologists, environmental scientists....anyone?
Unfortunately, this is typical for John Boehner. He whines about anything others are doing and has absolutely nothing constructive to bring to the table.
He suggests congress should not have hearings because the oil hasn't stopped leaking yet. What are the congressmen supposed to do? Should they be renting a yellow submarine and go down and plug it themselves? At least some part of the hearings is to find out what went wrong. There are other people who's job it is to do the technical work of getting the oil stopped.
His dodging of whether he supported lifting the liability cap on oil companies or restructuring the federal agency overseeing offshore drilling is also typical. He obviously is just there to throw stones and didn't have his talking points ready.
No, I disagree Representative Boehner. I think it makes perfect sense for our leaders to hold hearings without the facts, jump to conclusions without any proof, and feign defiant outrage at corporate greed all while oil is still gushing from the sea floor and the spill continues to spread across our gulf shoreline. What would you have them do ? Look for solutions to the oil leak first ? You fool!!!
Democrats need to reach out to Repubilicans. How arrogant. Besides, reaching out to Boehner could turn you orange.