June 23rd, 2010
04:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Barton retains position, controversy continues

Rep. Joe Barton will retain the senior GOP slot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Rep. Joe Barton will retain the senior GOP slot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Washington (CNN) – Despite calls for Rep. Joe Barton to be stripped of his powerful committee position, House Republicans decided Wednesday to allow him to retain the senior GOP slot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

A handful of fellow House Republicans wanted Barton to lose his post after the Texas GOP lawmaker described BP's agreement to establish a $20 billion fund for oil spill victims "a shakedown" by the Obama administration and apologized to the oil giant. Barton later retracted his comments after being shelled by criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, emphasized that Barton had apologized again for making those remarks and noted that the issue was now "closed."

"Joe Barton apologized, retracted his statement last week, he apologized this morning, he apologized to his Republican colleagues," Boehner said. "We should not though allow this distraction to get in the way of the real problem. The administration has no plan that will stop the leak in the Gulf and help clean up this mess. And frankly, they want to use this distraction in order to push their national energy plan, their cap and trade bill. We are going to do everything we can to make sure they do not impose this job killing tax on Americans."

But just as Boehner was trying to close the book on this embarrassing controversy, a Barton aide sparked a political firestorm when he sent out a link to an article that expressed support for the Texas Republican. Barton spokesman Sean Brown acknowledged that he had "tweeted" to supporters The American Spectator's story "Joe Barton was Right."

"Without thinking about it much, I added a headline from one of the daily news clips to a website that is, in turn, linked to the congressman's Twitter account," Brown said. "Mr. Barton was not aware of the Tweet."

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse said the tweet was evidence that Barton's earlier apology was "bunk."


Filed under: Joe Barton
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. kimberly

    hey nicky c, wanna place a bet? your an ignorant twit! And had I been raised in a chicken shack, I would be proud...HOWEVER, being born and raised in Scottsdale, AZ, and having graduated from UofA, and having owned my own business for the last 12 years, employing about 100 people, I cant say that! You are a sad pathetic little twit, who THINKS anyone cares about anything you have to say...sorry kookoo right winger, your done, and NEVER coming back!

    June 23, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. annie s

    And of the American people return the Republicans to power in November, Barton is who will direct the House's energy decisions. Scary stuff, America.

    June 23, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Naqib

    Keep a close eye on that 20 Billion... Dems have sticky fingers for other peoples money... so don't lose sight of that 18 Billion... The Dems are in big trouble and need campaign contributions... so whatever you do lock down that 14 Billion. Obama might want to throw a party for an old rock star while oil is gushing into our gulf... so make sure that 9 Billiion gets spent correctly. And with unemployment at 17%, housing sales down 30%, and the Dems needing more cash that 4 Billion could come in handy :)

    June 23, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    Speaking of bunk, I guess the Democrats think they have solved the problem through their televised flogging of Tony Hayward on TV.

    And still the oil flows into the gulf at 1 million gallons a day. How come I don't feel like celebrating Congress's great success with BP?

    June 23, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Bubba10

    Thank you Republicans. They could have removed him and it would be the end of the story, now they have assured this will continue through the election.

    Maybe Boner is a plant (a secret Democrat), because he keeps doing exactly what the Dems want.

    June 23, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Reggie S

    Let's not be foolish here.... Barton was not sorry he said those remarks. He was only sorry that more of his fellow Republicans didn't have the stones to back him up even though MANY of them undoubtedly agree with him. (Case in point... the judge who threw out the gov'ts moratorium on deep water drilling.)

    Seems the Republican party is only paying lip service to the American people right now. Indeed, they HAVE to because Republican poster boy Gov. Jindal is knee deep in the muck that is washing ashore in Louisiana.

    I am willing to bet that they wouldn't really care if that oil was only washing up on the shores of Mexico.

    June 23, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Wisconsinite

    The GObP is what I scrape off the bottom of my shoes when I step in a spot where a dog has defacated.

    June 23, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. maf

    Boehner, you are not HELPING the situation!! Is there a Republican solution? NO NO and H*** NO!
    BP is clearly the one at fault and their mismanaged ability to stem the leak is your political football.
    This catastrophe is hurting everyone, but the obstructionism put forth by the GOP, Party of NO, is a sorry excuse for not getting anything accomplished!

    This continues to make the Republican party look like they have no leadership, no direction and no platform to run on in the mid-term and 2012 election!!

    Can you hear it? FLUSH!!!!

    June 23, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Alan

    No. The matter is not closed. It's just apparent that the other Republicans are basically in agreement with Barton's statement even as he backpedals and tries to soften the stupidity of his stance.

    So goes the party. Anyone who thinks Republicans are out to help them personally had best get a reality check. It's all about furthering big business, enabling monopolies and dominating everything commercially into a few ultra-powerful hands.

    June 23, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. david

    thats it get rid of the people that tell the truth...and keep the idiot's that are cheeters and liers....that is about all obama osama has

    June 23, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Jo

    Good job, GOP way to show America, how you really feel about the oil crisis.

    June 23, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. John

    This is really good news for the dems!

    June 23, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Scott O' Canada

    Not my position perhaps, but this guy is giving the rest of us morons a bad name. And we're kicking him out of our club. Come to think of it, should be booted out on the House energy and Commerce Committee as well. Although it was a moronic thing of him to say, he still has to leave our club. And the apology was what it was. Not so much what he said, but how he said it.

    June 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. sifto77

    Americans believe Barton–leave this alone–Obama is lucky he was not protested further–the truth is the truth...

    June 23, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Ray

    Kinda amusing how the right wants the case closed on this issue....but they would never stop highlighting these comments if it was the other way around. What a bunch of losers.

    Boehner....please slap yourself for being such a hypocrite.

    June 23, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Typical Republican response. Feign shock and amazement that your colleague basically outed your entire party as the lapdog of big oil, threaten change and then keep him right at the top position of power.

    June 23, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    I hope that we, the People, will remember that when British Petroleum, an oil company that lied, cut-corners, put greed above safety, destroyed the Gulf of Mexico and with it the livelihoods of fishermen and their families; and countless wildlife, we will remember that if was a REPUBLICAN (in bed with Big Oil) who apologized to BP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Fund established of $20 billion, was no shake down, it will help countless Americans get on their feet! The Gulf of Mexico will never be the same..... it is destroyed, it is ruined. What price do you put on God's creation?!

    June 23, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Patsy, Texas

    There it is folks. Proof the Republicans have no respect for
    Americans losing their livelihoods, wildlife suffering and dying,
    torture on the environment, marshes lost, ugliness everywhere,
    and Joe Barton keeps his job.
    Proof again that the Republicans are big business all the way.
    Nastiness, hatefulness, and stupidity reign in the GOP. There are no
    words harsh enough for these people, at least none that would
    pass the "appropriate posting" rules. The haters will, as usual,
    weight in snorting their venom and making no sense whasoever.
    Guess they all have great jobs and don't know what "environment"
    means. Nincompoops at their finest.

    June 23, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Beverly - NYC

    Yeah it's closed until Mr. Barton comes up for re-election and his heartfelt brown nose apology to a foreign company is played in a continous loop. Good luck convincing your constituents should any disaster befall the state of Texas you will have their back against a big corporation.

    June 23, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. a in austin

    And your plan is????? BPs plan is?????? The other oil companies plans are????? Give me a break!!!!

    June 23, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    Of coarse Barton will keep his pat job, Boehner will continue to trash Obama for not cleaning up the mess, and the Drill Baby Drill crowd will continue to demand drilling more.

    In Boehner's own words, *the issue is closed*.

    And, yet . . . the gusher still gushes . . . and GOPers still talk out of both sides of their mouths.

    June 23, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Julio

    The Republican Party–a walking farce.

    June 23, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Please

    No he didn't apologize. He stated he was sorry if his comments were misconstrued.

    Second, of course he didn't lose his position. GOP=Big Oil. He just said what all GOPers wanted to say. Basically free markets rule unless the private company screws up, then it's the governments responsibility.

    June 23, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    He's just following in the footsteps of the brazen few that are hard-core c-streeters that believe god gave them rights that no other humans will ever have.

    Sounds like TX and SC should have seceded years ago and set up their own country.

    June 23, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Don Wuerl

    Its no surprise to me; why is everyone else surprised? The GoBP is bought and paid for by our friends in Big Oil, Big Bank, and the Insurance lobby. Mr. Barton is a former ARCO executive. He is stuck on oil because oil is stuck to him! In fact, the conservative radio bigots like Limbaugh were stating the same nonsense that Mr. Barton apologized on the airwaves. I think I know who is behind the microchipping and death panel gibberish-GOBP! Let's not forget who wanted oil prices to be $140/barrel and the outragous $4/gallon gasoline. It was the same people in the Big Oil Lobby. What the hell...$1250 per second wasn't obscene to one that headed Exxon-Mobil just after Katrina hit New Orleans!

    June 23, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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