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Second Gulf Coast lawmaker calls for Barton to step aside

By Aaron Blake
Another Gulf Coast lawmaker is calling on fellow Republican Rep. Joe Barton (Tex.) to step down from his position as the top Republican on the House energy committee.

In a statement Friday, Rep. Jo Bonner (Ala.) said Barton's sympathetic comments toward BP "fall short of an appropriate response" and labeled his apology for the comments "half-hearted." He said Barton should step down as the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"Earlier this morning, Rep. Barton called me to offer his personal apologies for any harm that his comments might have caused," Bonner said. "It takes a big person to admit they were wrong, and I appreciated Joe's call. However, as I told him, I believe the damage of his comments are beyond repair and, as such, I am today calling on Joe to do the right thing for our conference and immediately step aside as Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee."

Bonner joins Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) in calling for Barton to step down. Miller made his call Thursday afternoon, shortly after Barton's comments.

Barton caused an unwanted controversy for Republicans on Thursday when, at a hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward, he apologized to Hayward for the way the White House has treated the company - particularly with regard to the $20 billion claims fund it was pressured to create.

Barton initially apologized for comments he said had been "misconstrued," then offered a fuller apology retracting his BP apology altogether. That came after Republican leaders threatened to strip him of his ranking member status.

Bonner said Republicans should not be saddled with Barton's behavior.

"His apology to BP simply does not reflect the position of the vast majority of House Republicans," Bonner said.

By Aaron Blake  |  June 18, 2010; 4:21 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Get over it donkeys.
[For a light hearted take on our present peril]

Posted by: libertyatstake | June 19, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

If the "Shakedown" comment from Rep. Joe Barton was deemed by the Media, Congress, DNC, GOP and the White House as unacceptable ...................

............then why don't WE use the past phase used by "The White House" to describe what happened in the Oval Office yesterday....................

................."we will continue to hold our boot to the throat of B.P.", until they cough up the $20 Billion for our Private Slush Fund.

It's refreshing to hear a Member of Congress saying the TRUTH for a change !!!

Posted by: thgirbla | June 18, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

If Rep. Joe Barton does not step down by the end of the day, he should be stripped of his position. All Republicans feel this way, they just don't blurt it out to cameras. Are all Republicans from Texas morons? I know of quite a few.

Posted by: racam | June 18, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

The apology I heard Barton make on TV was not an apology at all; he said he apologized if his remarks were "misconstrued". In other words, if other people were too stupid to understand what he really meant, he apologized for those stupid people.

Posted by: markiejoe | June 18, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Its an escrow fund to pay claims they would have paid anyway. If you don't know what an escrow fund is, look it up before you post. It simply sets the money aside so BP can't declare a bunch of bonuses and go chapter 11 and say, sorry, nothing left. The money won't go anywhere it wouldn't have gone anyway (unless BP folded), so it's not a slush fund, wasn't extorted, isn't illegal, was readily agreed to, and resulted in BP stock going UP, which means the market liked the idea too.

Posted by: JoeT1 | June 18, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Another bought and paid for by the oil companies. A traitor to America. Oh how stupid do these Republicans think we are, sure they are mad at him for saying what they all think, he just wasn't supposed to say it. What a disgrace these Republicans are.

Posted by: audrey2010 | June 18, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Not only Barton's true color came out looking out for the interest of BP who caused this catastrophe instead of thousands of innocent people and creatures, his comment demonstrates how STUPID he is. Either way, he should step down in order that we may never have to look upon his stupid facade!

Posted by: pelohoki | June 18, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Its because of lawmakers like Barton that we have the kind of crappy energy policies that permit the lax safety and "Plan B" policies that allowed a tragedy of this magnitude to go on and on and on. Nothing manufactured by man can ever be guaranteed or fullproof; in this case, the lack of regulation, foresight and remedy that has caused people to lose lives and entire communities to go under appears nothing more than negligent; a cost benefit analysis borne on the backs of innocent people.

Posted by: sassafrasnewport | June 18, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party Republicanism - The political philosophy that dare not speak its policy positions.

Posted by: clear_eyed_man | June 18, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party Republicanism - The political philosophy that dare not speak its policy positions.

Posted by: clear_eyed_man | June 18, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse


It's raining outside... Damn you Obama!!!

Posted by: jfern03 | June 18, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The reaction of the gop establishment to Barton’s right-on statement shows why NO responsible citizen trusts these spineless, gutless weasels any more than they do the d-crat socialists

Barton should be praised for correctly characterizing the unlawful actions of the hussein regime thugs as criminal EXTORTION in robbing BP to create yet another d-crat socialist slush fund.

Posted by: TeaPartyPatriot | June 18, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Republicans ARE an oil slick on the american political process.

This bought and paid for political prostitute Barton speaks for what the majority of republicans whisper amongst themselves but know is political poison to actually voice in public.

It will take just as long to gather these tarballs out of congress than it will to fully clean up along the gulf coast.

Republicans are a CANCER and a SCOURGE on the nation.

Posted by: jfern03 | June 18, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Barton happens to be a long time oilman what did you expect him to say? although he is corrupt,he's no more corrupt than any other politician who takes(on the take) corporate contributions while sitting on committies that oversee or regulate said industry. this should not be a revelation to anyone.

Posted by: patmariegeraghty | June 18, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

How long before these clowns start wearing corporate logos on their jackets instead of the American flag pins.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | June 18, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

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