VIDEO: Republicans Oppose Oil Spill Escrow Fund, Apologize to BP

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Shakedown updates:

Michele Bachmann joins in:

Little Green Footballs: The GOP Cornucopia of Crazy around the BP oil spill continues unabated, with yet another boneheaded statement by Michele Bachmann (R-Mars).

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Wednesday warned the Obama administration against using oil giant BP as a ‘permanent ATM card’ and more broadly alleged there are increasing federal efforts to “take over private industry.”…

Bachmann said on the CNN program “John King, USA” that BP must pay for damages, but added, “We don’t want these payouts to become political.”

“We don’t think it’s a good idea for the federal government to see private industry as essentially a piggy bank for the federal government,” she said.

Why would Barton apologize to BP?

NYDailyNews: Barton is also one of Big Oil’s biggest boosters and once touted off-shore drilling as so advanced it can function around the clock “without so much as losing a gum wrapper over the side of the platform.”

Before his election to Congress, Barton was an executive with ARCO, which was later acquired by BP.

He has taken $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the industry since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Barton apologizes for apologizing to BP for ‘Obama’s shakedown’

Little Green Footballs:

“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP. As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future.

“I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.”

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The GOP mind: a $20 billion dollar “shakedown”

You know the $20 billion dollar fund that BP agreed to finance, to pay for damages resulting from their oil disaster on the Gulf? Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) apologized to BP this morning, saying the fund was a “$20 billion shakedown.”

Media Matters:

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“I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) during a hearing on Thursday morning with BP’s CEO Tony Hayward. “I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a $20 billion shakedown — with the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that’s unprecedented in our nation’s history, which has no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for our nation’s future.”

“I’m only speaking for myself. I’m not speaking for anyone else, but I apologize,” Barton added. “I do not want to live in a county where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, [it is] subject to some sort of political pressure that, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.”

…Several members of the GOP have rushed to distance themselves from Barton’s comments, with Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) actually calling for Barton to resign his committee post.

Isn’t it a funny coincidence that Barton used to work for Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), which is now owned by BP?

Guess Barton’s Largest Corporate Donor?

Nate Silver finds that Anadarko Petroleum has given nearly $150,000 to Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-TX) –  $56,500 in PAC donations and another $90,000 in individual contributions.

It turns out Anadarko is also BP’s partner on the site where the massive oil leak occurred, and according to Dow Jones, has already been invoiced by BP for its share of the clean up costs.

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