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Say What? GOPers Slam White House Over BP Gulf Spill Fund

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Newscom

• The Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House members, released a statement Wednesday bashing the fund -- and seeming to criticize BP for accepting it. The group's chairman, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), said in a statement that while BP should be held responsible for damages, "BP's reported willingness to go along with the White House's new fund suggests that the Obama Administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics. These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration's drive for greater power and control."

• Rush Limbaugh said that the escrow fund would be a "slush fund," and wondered where the money would end up going: "Who's gonna get this money? Union activists? ACORN people? Who's gonna get this money. Let's keep a sharp eye on who Feinberg gives this money to. Because I'm telling you, this is just another bailout fund, called something else, and we'll see who gets it."

• Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) has also voiced criticism -- saying that forcing BP to pay the money now would cut into their profits, thus making it more difficult to pay more down the line. "If BP is the responsible party under the law, they're to pay for everything. I do worry that this idea of making them make a huge escrow fund is going to make it less likely that they'll pay for everything. They need their capital to drill wells. They need their capital to produce income. ... But this escrow bothers me that it's going to make them less able to pay us what they owe us. And that concerns me."

• Also on Fox News, Stuart Varney and Sean Hannity speculated that the account would be used as a "political slush fund."

• In the House committee hearing just this morning on the spill, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) referred to the fund as a "$20 billion shakedown."