June 17th, 2010
11:05 AM ET
8 years ago

Congressman: 'I am ashamed' of 'shakedown' of BP

Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Joe Barton had some harsh words for the White House at a key hearing Thursday on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster: "I am ashamed of what happened at the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation would be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown - in this case a $20 billion dollar shakedown." Barton was referring to BP's establishment - at the behest of the administration - of an escrow account to pay for claims.

Filed under: BP • Energy • Joe Barton • Obama administration • Popular Posts
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. t dale

    BP agrees to a 20 billion dollar shakedown and now they are demanding macondo well partners/investors to foot the bill. How can an investor be held liable for something they had no controlling interest or say so in operations?
    BP continually ignores safety and that reflects on our industry as a whole. I have consulted for BP and when Safety Concerns and Violations were brought to their attention the Safety Representative was removed from the job site so they could continue without oversite. That is the BP standard.

    June 17, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. American Girl

    Is this fool serious??? The White House did exactly what it should have.... the 20B dollar fund was NOT a shakedown...It was a down payment on making sure BP pays for the damage BP caused in the Gulf of Mexico to our environment, and all the floks in that region that make who make a living off the waters.

    Mr. Barton If BP doesn't pay for the damages BP caused who should pay......the American public??? I guess Mr. Barton thinks us "little people" should pay BP mistakes.

    June 17, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Expect to see the Administration and congressional Democrats do a lot of political grandstanding as we enter this November slaughter.
    This is not going to be pretty, but that's exactly what this $20 billion is about. Democrats political grandstanding.

    June 17, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. G

    Why swould the estimable Mr. Barton regard proof of funding of the cleanup effort as a shakedown? It must be that it is impeding the sacrosanct oil business to which Mr. Barton appears to owe some sort of allegiance?

    June 17, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Linda from Minnesota

    Well I am ashamed of Joe Barton.

    June 17, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. Tom the fisherman

    You have got to be kidding! Is this guy totally oblivious to what BP's lack of oversight has caused to both people and the planet? This is the final straw for me; I just switched parties. It's crystal clear to me now that most of the GOP is clueless with respect to priorities and is leaning way to "right" for my taste. My friends have been trying to convince me of this; this just made it real. The "shakedown" was very appropriate and I thank the current Admin. for taking this stand.

    June 17, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. SlackerKeith

    It is incomprehensible to me that so many republicans are criticizing the Obama administration for the $20B escrow account established by BP to pay claims resulting in the worst environmental catastrophe to ever occur in this nation. It's not just Barton. On CNN last evening, Michelle Bachmann insinuated that the federal government is using BP as it's personal piggy-bank. Rudy Giuliani on MSNBC this morning excoriated the administration on the same subject. And the windbag Kudlow on CNBC last night was the loudest and angriest.

    One would think that it would be political suicide for any U.S. politician to side with a foreign corporation instead of the millions of American citizens who have had their livelihoods destroyed, but apparently the feel it is politically expedient to trash President Obama regardless of the circumstances. Let's hope that whoever is running against these congresspeople-cum-corporate advocates will remember this during the various elections.

    June 17, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    They should play this video over and over and over, just so people understand who the Republicans are protecting.

    Just listen to it people?




    June 17, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. JasonK

    GOP: A party of corporative hags against americans. Joe has again proved that GOP has no morals except being a corporate thug

    June 17, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. ooj

    I'm ashamed that the system allows folks like Barton to get elected. I highly doubt that the majority of his constituents share this view, because he's making them look bad. I hope they prove me right by kicking him out at the next elections.

    June 17, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Claude

    Joe Barton is an ignorant fool!

    June 17, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. David in Houston

    Barton is a tool.

    June 17, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. mms55

    i'm ashamed of mr. barton as a human being,how disgusting.these people are suffering and all he cares about is this big corp.this man should resign his office.pay attention people these are the only people that the republican party cares about.remember this come november.enough is enough,how many "small people" are going have to suffer before the republicans stand up for the people and do the right thing.stop defending these corps.

    June 17, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. carrie in Alabama

    We should all be ashamed of people like Barton.....Our Gulf is in shambles, our beaches , touriist industry , and peoples lives, and he apologizes to Hayward.....shame on the GOP Barton , I hope he loses his next bid for congress, he is a disgrace!

    June 17, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. vet in midwest

    Is this guy serious?? Boohoo, cry me a river. BP just destroyed the southeastern coast of our country for all intents and purposes for the next decade at least, and this asshat is upset with them taking RESPONSIBILITY for it and paying those affected?? What is this guy smoking???

    Maybe he thinks the tax payers should be paying for it instead???

    June 17, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. mdn

    Republicans have no shame. BP is responsible for the oil spill...and BP readily admits that. The government is trying to hold BP accountable for the mess that BP made. $20 billion only sounds like a start. BP will have to pay a lot more to clean up this mess.

    I am not surprised to hear that a Republican object that big business be held accountable for the destruction that they have caused. Remember, "Drill baby drill" is a rebulican mantra. I think the republicans need to look in the mirror if they want to play the shame game.

    June 17, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Patricia

    Joe Barton should be ashamed of himself!!!!!

    June 17, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    well just picture THIS headline.."BP offers to pay 20billion dollars but Obama turns them down flat" THE far right would be having a FIELD DAY if he did something like that. Guys like Barton and fellow right wing hack Backmann just prove that no matter WHAT Obama does they have to find fault in it. I hope that there are more voters that aren't too blind to see what is really going on here.

    June 17, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    Doesn't surprise me. Rep. Joe Barton is in bed with the Oil Lobbyists and contributors. (I just looked him up). He is part of the problem and not the solution. He needs to be investigated for his part in deregulation of the oil companies.

    June 17, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. Grand Obstruction Party

    Didn't we know this was coming Republicans starting to defend a gaint oil company, I just wonderd how long is was going to take them, with the entire gulf being destoyed the Republians are starting to attack the White House, this is a clear example of how shamless they really are. What shame !!

    June 17, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. IKHAN

    Where is this guy coming from?
    Politicians like Joe Barton playing for lobbies & special interest are the reason we are in this mess today. We should make sure that they are not re-elected.

    June 17, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. elaine

    Sorry, Joe, I disagree. In fact, I disagree to such an extent I want to know why there is not an escrow fund put in place before anyone even starts drilling. Now we know what can happen, and knowing we run the risk of claiming bankruptcy or paying their shareholders before they pay claims for the lives and environments they ruin, wouldn't it be wise to ensure they have the money to pay for potential losses?

    June 17, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    I am ashamed to hear a TX GOP'er, make such a foolish comment. I shall remember that comment, when i go to the polls.

    How stupid can someone be?

    June 17, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Bertina

    This guy needs to be removed from office.

    June 17, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Jane

    This is the people the so called tea party want in congress. The media need to stop trying to legitamize this group. The repub are at this bp ceo hearing to score political points.They are in with the oil companies.

    June 17, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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