Pelosi Whacks Boehner Over Oil Spill Damages Controversy

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Democrats are continuing to hammer House Minority Leader John Boehner for suggesting that the government should bear some of the financial burdens of the Gulf oil spill, despite the fact that his office now insists BP should cover every last cent.

At her weekly press event this morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed her commitment to holding BP fully accountable for the spill, and backed a legislative initiative to lift a $75 million liability cap on oil companies…but she also snuck in a pot shot.

Asked by a reporter to respond to Boehner’s contention that any changes to the liability law should be kicked down the road, Pelosi couldn’t resist.“Is that when he said that the taxpayer should be paying for it? Was that the same speech? When he said BP and the taxpayer should be footing the bill? Was that the same statement?” Pelosi asked rhetorically. “I disagree.”

By the end of the day yesterday, Boehner’s staff came out in favor of forcing BP to pay for all clean up and damages costs.

On the issue of when to change the law, Pelosi also took issue with Boehner. “The fact is we have to make decisions. It’s 54 days–is it 53 or 54 days–since the spill April 20th. Very calmly people said ‘let us get the facts,'” Pelosi said. “What we’ve learned in that period of time is that BP misrepresented what their technology could do. They misrepresented the…amount of oil that was being spewed forth into the gulf.”

“When they start telling you to cut your hair and send golf balls and diapers for the cleanup, you know that’s not the technology of the future…unless you’re changing diapers, getting a haircut or playing golf.”

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 brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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