June 17th, 2010
11:05 AM ET
4 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. bsplyr264

    Ok I don't get it. First the republicans say the president is not doing enough to make sure BP will be held responsible for the damages caused by the oil spill. Now that the president\administration has gotten BP to promise money to help with the damages and cleanup it is a shakedown? ( a drop in the bucket to what this will really cost to fix) I truely do not understand. I have heard the phrase dammed if you do dammed if you don't but the republicans have taken this to new levels. Do the republicans believe that we should give BP a tax break or something. Someone needs to check out and see if Rep. Barton owns BP stock. This guy is a true Republican. All for the large corporations and the hell with the little guy.

    June 17, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Stacey

    "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."
    _____________________________________________________

    And I'm ashamed of you, Joe Barton! The GOP is in bed with the big oil companies. This is disgusting. Who the heck else is supposed to pay for this mess if not BP? You and the GOP pay for it, Barton!

    June 17, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Megan

    Sounds like a typical Republican.

    Putting big oil ahead of the needs of the people. How can people still vote for this party? Wake up America!

    June 17, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Julie

    Sounds like a Democrat's soundbite dream come Nov.

    June 17, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Voice Crying in the Wilderness

    Shameful! How could anybody apologize to BP for destroying the lives of so many innocent people! Does this republican hate the President so much that he is willing to find a reason to criticize him and his administration and apololize to an obvious criminal. The President of the United States was just trying to make things right for the people who were devasted by this catastrophe.
    Mr Barton should hope that the devastated prople of the Gulf are as understanding and contrite as he is toward BP.
    This shows that there are many on Capitol Hill who have no respect for the"small people"of this world.

    June 17, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. Krystina

    Rep Barton has it all wrong. BP is responsbile for the disasterous oil spill and is accountable for all damages resulting from the spill. Who else will pay for all the damages? Surely he doesn't think "big, bad government" will...no way! Rep. Barton, you should represent the interests of your constituency and your country and not BP. Shame on you!

    June 17, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Lynn M.

    I have to wonder how much BP has contributed to Sen. Bartons campaign funds over the years. This is NUTTY. The people whose lives have been hurt by the oil spill need help now. If they don't have money for their housepayments, they don't have money to, pay for lawyers to take years to litigate this mess.

    June 17, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Paul

    Well, at least there's one other idiot who is on Michelle Bachman's side in 'poor BP, why should they pay a dime for the oil spill?' Republicans are so stoooopid.

    June 17, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Barton is absolutely disgusting for even saying this. Take a wild guess as to where he gets a large portion of his campaign donations.

    June 17, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Just Saying

    This guy is a complete idiot!

    June 17, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Anne P

    According to the GOP, Obama was not tough enough on BP and now he's too hard on BP? As many have said before, it doesn't matter what Obama does, in the GOP's eyes, they simply want him (and thus our country) to fail at all costs, especially if it means more seats for them. Sick of you GOP; you're nothing but a bunch of sore losers who can't even rally around a crisis unless it meets your self-serving agenda! Shame indeed, but it's all on you.

    June 17, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  12. John

    Joe Barton obviously doesn't understand or care about how the rules for payment of creditors work in the corporate world. He is obviously more concerned about the shareholders of BP than the people injuted by the carelessness of BP. The shareholders are at the bottem of the food chain, when it comes to disbursing corporate assets to pay claims. They should not be allowed to pay one cent to shareholders until everyone injured by them has been made whole. That is the way the free enterprise system works. The oil industry is a risky business, on a good day! There are consequences for mistakes, especially when they are the resuld of recless decisions made as a result of greed for more profits.

    June 17, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. a in austin

    You are an embarrassment not only to Texans but the United States. You and your republican co-horts were sure sucking up to the oil execs while putting your feet on the throats of the American people and for the suffering of those along the coast. How unpatriotic of you!

    June 17, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Fire Him

    I am ashamed of you Joe Barton ... you are no American.

    June 17, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. The Weatherman

    Pinheads unite! Elect democrats, run companies out of business and complain about the economy with a lack of jobs.

    The Weatherman

    June 17, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Mickey, NY

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what the Republican party is all about.

    To react like this to a major environmental catastrophe is indicitive of mental illness, which seems to run rampant in the GOP.

    June 17, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. LT

    it is obvious Mr. Barton is on the side of the oil companies. He is from Texas and quite frankly his response doesn't surprise me. Is Mr. Barton going to hold them accountable? I think the constituents of the great state of Texas need to elect someone who actually has a heart for the people of the Gulf. Holding the big corporations accountable is not such a bad idea and needs to be done. I support President Obama in his approach to this. We might look back and say we could have done it different this way or that way but all in all I think he is doing a fine job. Let's all remember, especially Republicans, of the time when Katrina hit and Bush sat and sat and sat. Let us all remember.

    June 17, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. jose

    Wonder how many shares of BP does Rep Barton own and how many family members work for BP. Typical.

    June 17, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Eric

    Shaking down corporations... ah yes... Barry acts just like his poverty-pimpin' community-organizing bretheren "Shakedown Sharpton" and Jesse "Heimey-town" Jackson.

    June 17, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. D. Pasha

    I am ashamed of the sum myself. They're getting off too lightly. It would be particularly apprpriate to also roll the BP execs in tar and feathers. 1776!

    June 17, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Victim of GOP Taliban

    I am ashamed Joe Barton is such a sell-out. Shakedown? Blame the victim for the crime...right.

    June 17, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. TomInRochNY

    Do you really think this guy is going to get re-elected?

    June 17, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Nancy G

    Congressman Barton you should be ashamed of yourself!!

    June 17, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. greg

    i'm not believing what i'm seeing. we have every right to "shakedown" BP. Their lucky we don't take the shirts off their backs. But oh, i forgot...we're the small people. So if this is a demonstration that the GOP is going to turn a blind eye to private entities for financial and political gains then we don't need the gop, tea-party, dems, liberyarians and whoever stands with big corporations over the common good of the people

    June 17, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Chris

    Joe Barton is a politician – he 'shakes down' people every waking minute to stay in office. No doubt he has repeadedly shaken down BP for contributions. Also no doubt as a Republican he cares much more about corporate cronies than average citizens. His comments were nothing but shameful political posturing

    June 17, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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