In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Boehner Spox Walks Back BP Spill Comments


On May 28 Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue was asked about "clean up" in a more general sense--what should BP's liability be beyond physically cleaning up the oil. Donohue said "It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game.... Everybody is going to contribute to this clean up. We are all going to have to do it. We are going to have to get the money from the government and from the companies and we will figure out a way to do that."

By "changing the law," Donohue was referring to congressional efforts to raise the cap on damages for oil spills from the current $75 million to $10 billion, or to eliminate the cap altogether and make liability unlimited. That is in addition to the cost of cleaning up the spill.

Today, following up on Donohue's comments, I asked Boehner, "do you agree with Tom Donohue of the Chamber that the government and taxpayers should pitch in to clean up the oil spill?"

His answer was straightforward: "I think the people responsible in the oil spill--BP and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there."

Steel did not respond when pressed whether Boehner disagrees with Donohue on this issue.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at