Pensacola GOP Rep calls on Barton to step down 

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Tex., is getting some well-deserved shaming from his own side of the aisle for his comments in today’s hearing. From The Hill:

A Republican lawmaker from a district affected by the oil spill called on Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) to step down as the ranking member of his committee.

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), whose Pensacola district is among the most-impacted areas in the Gulf by the oil spill, condemned Barton for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward during a committee meeting on Thursday.

“I condemn Mr. Barton’s statement.  Mr. Barton’s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee,” MIller said in a statement. “He should step down as ranking member of the Committee.”

It’s possible — even likely — that Barton meant to say merely that he didn’t think the fund was the right mechanism for handling claims. That the Obama administration should not be interfering in a claims process that rightfully belongs in court and should be free from political meddling.

But if that’s what he meant, why didn’t he say it? Instead, he spoke as though BP is somehow being unjustly scapegoated for the oil spill.

Whether it’s done this way or in a courtroom, or at a settlement table, BP caused the damage and must pay for it. BP’s execs are grown-ups. If they consent to this arrangement — a $20 billion restitution fund administered by a third party — that’s their prerogative.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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