July 27th, 2010
02:05 PM ET
13 years ago

A 'slush fund' no more, apparently

(CNN) - Rep. Joe Barton will not make the same mistake twice.

Last month, the Texas Republican came under intense criticism from members of his own party and was forced to issue an apology after calling BP's agreement to set up a $20 billion fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill "a shakedown" by the Obama administration. Despite the apology, Democrats used the comments to spark fundraising and gain political ground.

Barton, who also called the $20 billion a "slush fund," came face-to-face Tuesday with Kenneth Feinberg, the independent special master of the fund, and prefaced his first question with an emphatic message.

"I do support that there be a compensation fund," Barton said. "I do support that BP pays most if not all of the money that goes into that fund. And I do support that it be, as I said, fairly quickly and transparently paid out to the people that have the claims."

Barton again clarified his position as he asked his second question of Feinberg.

"This is a unique fund," Barton said. "…There apparently is no precedent for it. Doesn't mean – again – that we don't need it."

Feinberg was on Capitol Hill Tuesday testifying before the House Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Subcommittee.

–CNN's John King, USA Senior Writer Joe Von Kanel contributed to this report

Filed under: BP • Joe Barton • Kenneth Feinberg
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Typical lying GObPer.



    How much of that money is he looking for to line his own pockets?

    July 27, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Carmelle

    I bet you he'll go home and say it was his idea all along and will become a town hero for looking out for the little ppl.

    Just like those 2 face repubs did for the stimulus.

    July 27, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Joe Magaratz


    Looks like this is a Republican who suddenly got religion!

    Will wonders never cease?

    July 27, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. JES

    This fund will never get to the people that needs it like everything else the government runs.

    Again they can't even balance the budget that should be required by law like all the other states have to.

    July 27, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Connor

    He sounds like Christopher Walker after he's lived in New York for too long.

    July 27, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. shame

    Joe Burton should give all the money he made from investing in BP and supporting the oil companies. He used his lobbying freedom to make a lot of money. People of his state elected him and should pay back.

    July 27, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    He apparently feels he has waited long enough after throwing out his talking point grenade to now disown it and pretend he never said it. He doesn't support any of those things...he said so himself. His attempts at semantic sophistry are laughable.

    July 27, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. ex-sarge

    A well executed flip and flop Representative Barton. Too bad the "liberal" media will not make note.

    July 27, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. DaninHbg

    Barton is, in typical fashion, lying through his teeth. He continues to believe that Obama holding BP financially culpable is somehow "wrong." Of course that's because the GOP has made it clear that they support millionaires, billionaires, and corporations and NOT regular Americans. He didn't commit a "blunder" when he spoke out, calling this a "slush fund." For God's sake, the fool read from a prepared statement! He MEANT to say exactly what he said, and the truth is that other republicans have mirrored those comments in other forums. Any attempt to hold big businesses accountable or to make the wealthy pay their fair share is going to be met with fierce republican opposition.

    July 27, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Only because he got forced to change his tune. In reality he is a Big Oil man, literally worked in that industry and pals around with their army of lobbyists dishing-out $ for favors.

    July 27, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. ATL Guy

    This guy is an embarrassment and a total idiot. Yes, he's a Republican.

    July 27, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. artraveler

    Hey Barton, some finally got washed up on the shores of your Texas. Does that change everything? The beach at Galveston was so dirty the last time I walked on it that I didn't go in the water and that was years ahead of the BP spill. I also never went back there and have canceled a week at a Texas beach further west this fall.

    July 27, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. doug

    For right or for wrong it was a classic Chicago Demo Daily-Lib shakedown.

    I know this is racist but I don't think that billions from BP should go to the SEIU, the new acorn, and the black panters. I think all of it should go to help the residents in the gulf who suffered from this Obama made disaster. I know that is racist, just like stating the truth, like it was the Obama administration that rushed through the lease on this rig, which probably would not have happened if Bush was president.

    July 27, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. normajean

    This man is all mouth and no brain. "Slush Fund","Shakedown"? I'm sure the thousands of people who lost their livelyhood, businesses of many years standing and income for who knows how many years, are just thrilled with any thing this jerk says. No, there is no precedent for anything as catastophic that would in just several months ruin the lives of so many people and then have those responsible drag their feet and leave these people without anything..Our government needs to take a VERY strong stand,RIGHT NOW!

    July 27, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. hangemhi

    As a republican he should know that slush funds don't operate in the light of day as this fund is. Hush maybe but not slush.

    July 27, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Awaiting the Republican apologists to explain how this is OK after jumping to his defense previously.

    July 27, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. snow

    What Barton said pales in comparison to the corruption of the demorat party in congress.

    July 27, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Jess C

    Sure he outwardly "supports" it now. But I seriously doubt the authenticity of that support. He was pretty much brow-beaten politically for defending BP originally; this is a political display at best.

    July 27, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |