“He hasn’t clearly made any decision yet,” Bachmann said of her state’s Republican governor in an interview on CNN’s John King, USA. “And I haven’t backed any candidate yet or said that I’m going to be necessarily on their team. It’s very early in the process.”
“If you could pick, who would it be?” CNN Chief National Correspondent John King asked the Minnesota lawmaker.
“Well, we’ll find out,” Bachmann coyly replied, “I think after 2010, it will become much clearer.”
But the conservative Republican did have one 2012 prediction which she was willing to share.
"Members are angry. Members are frustrated," Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, told CNN's Dana Bash. "They're going to take his hide off, as they should."
Stupak, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, outlined evidence his committee has put together from thousands of pages of internal BP documents.
In Thursday's hearing, Stupak intends to focus on what the lawmaker sees as a pattern of behavior on BP's part that risked safety in order to contain costs and make up for the drilling project's being behind schedule.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday asked Congress for $15 million in emergency funding for the new national commission investigating the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The Administration asked Congress to consider an emergency budget amendment of $15 million for the Department of Energy to fund the activities of that commission," an administration official told CNN on condition of not being identified.
"This amendment would fund necessary expenses, including personnel costs, authorized travel, research and investigation costs, reimbursement to federal agencies for operational and logistical support, and other costs in carrying out the mandate of the commission," the official said.
The seven-member commission will report back by the end of the year on the causes of the disaster, as well as "options for safety and environmental precautions necessary to prevent a similar disaster from happening again," Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting the funds.
(CNN) – BP will continue to pay the costs for the oil spill cleanup and will work out with its drilling partners later who is liable for the costs, an executive for the oil giant told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday.
"BP is paying all the bills right now," Darryl Willis, the vice president of resources for BP America, told the senators. "We are focused on making sure that the costs associated with this cleanup and spill in the Gulf of Mexico are paid and that the people who have been hurt along the Gulf Coast are compensated for their losses, and any federal costs that are associated with the cleanup are paid back to the American people."
The government bills the companies responsible for the disaster on one invoice, said Craig Bennett, director of the National Pollution Fund. It doesn't matter if one or all companies pay the bill.
(CNN) – The Gulf oil disaster "never should have happened," and BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward says he is "deeply sorry" that it did.
Hayward is scheduled to appear Thursday at a House subcommittee hearing on the oil rig explosion and fire that killed 11 workers and set off the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. In written testimony obtained by CNN, Hayward repeatedly says he is fully aware of the harm caused to the Gulf Coast region and commits BP to "do what we can to make certain that an incident like this does not happen again."
"Let there be no mistake - I understand how serious this situation is," Hayward's testimony says "This is a tragedy: people lost their lives; others were injured; and the Gulf Coast environment and communities are suffering. This is unacceptable, I understand that, and let me be very clear: I fully grasp the terrible reality of the situation."
Hayward says he was personally devastated by the deaths of the 11 workers and called attending their memorial service "a shattering moment."
"I want to offer my sincere condolences to their friends and families - I can only imagine their sorrow," Hayward says in the written testimony. "My sadness has only grown as the disaster continues."
Saying he wants to speak directly to the people of the Gulf region, Hayward adds: "I know that this incident has profoundly impacted lives and caused turmoil, and I deeply regret that." He notes that many of BP's 23,000 U.S. employees live and work in the Gulf Coast region, and that BP has always tried to be "a good neighbor."
(CNN) - Former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford will join gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the campaign trail Friday for a headline-grabbing final push ahead of next Tuesday's Republican runoff election, a Haley source tells CNN.
Sanford won't have to go far to join the Republican frontrunner - Haley is scheduled to appear with Mitt and Ann Romney in Charleston and Beaufort, both a short drive from Sanford's home on Sullivan's Island.
Sanford gave Haley's campaign its first major endorsement last fall, when Haley, a state representative, was the least known of the four candidates seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Now she is on the cusp of winning the nomination, assuming she maintains her current wide lead in the runoff against Rep. Gresham Barrett.
Haley is regarded as Gov. Mark Sanford's ideological protégé in the governor's race. But the governor, aware of his tarnished reputation in the wake of an affair the destroyed his career and marriage, has avoided endorsing Haley.
New YorK (CNNMoney.com) - Mortgage borrowers hurt by the Gulf oil spill may qualify for temporary relief from paying their mortgages, without fear of losing their homes.
Citigroup's CitiMortgage unit announced Wednesday that it would suspend all foreclosure sales and filings for 90 days, through Sept. 17, on its Gulf properties. The policy applies only to first mortgages on homes that are within 25 miles of the coast.
Fannie Mae, the government-supported mortgage company, also touted its own relief policy Wednesday, saying that servicers of Fannie-backed loans may immediately suspend or lower payments on mortgages for borrowers whose income or property were affected by the spill.
"This was a reiteration of special relief policies that Fannie Mae has had for a while," said Janis Smith, a spokeswoman for Fannie.
"Borrowers who hope to obtain relief under this policy should call their servicers right away," Smith said. "They should not sit around waiting for a call."
Under the Fannie Mae program, servicers can offer to postpone or lower payments for up to 90 days, during which the servicer is expected to verify the borrower's income loss or the damage the oil spill may have done to their property.
Freddie Mac, the other government-supported mortgage giant, will grant up to six months forbearance to victims of the oil spill.
(CNN) - Dino Rossi holds a large lead over two other Republican candidates in the battle to challenge Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, according to a new survey.
An Elway Poll of registered voters in Washington state indicates that 43 percent back Murray, who's bidding for a fourth term in the Senate, in the state's August 17 primary.
Thirty-one percent support Rossi, with fellow Republicans Clint Didier at five percent and Paul Akers at two percent. Seventeen-percent were undecided. Washington is the only state in the nation to hold a non-partisan primary, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election. Earlier this month California voters passed a referendum that would move the Golden state towards a similar system.
Rossi, who announced his candidacy last month, is arguably the best known Republican in Washington state, thanks to his two bids for governor. In an election that went into overtime, Rossi lost to Democrat Christine Gregoire by just a handful of votes six years ago. He was again defeated in a 2008 rematch by a wider margin.
Washington (CNN) - BP has reached an agreement with the federal government to place $20 billion in an escrow fund to pay for claims in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, President Barack Obama announced at the White House on Wednesday. The amount does not represent a total cap on the amount the oil giant may ultimately have to pay, the president said.
Obama's announcement came at the conclusion of a lengthy White House meeting between top administration and BP officials.
The $20 billion fund will be administered by an independent third party, Obama said. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg - who oversaw the compensation fund for victims of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks - will oversee the claims process, he added.
The fund "will not supersede individuals' or states' rights to present claims in court," he said. BP, he asserted, will remain liable for the environmental disaster in the Gulf.
BP has also voluntarily agreed to create a $100 million fund for the purpose of compensating oil rig workers now unemployed as a result of closure of other deepwater rigs after the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, Obama said.