Boehner, Asked Whether BP Fund Is A ‘Shakedown,’ Seeks Distance From Barton (VIDEO)

June 17, 2010 8:32 a.m.

House Minority Leader John Boehner doesn’t want to be lumped in with Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who in a hearing today apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward for the $20 billion escrow fund that, in Barton’s words, amounts to a “shakedown” and a “slush fund.”

In an interview with Fox News this morning a few minutes after Barton spoke, Boehner was asked if he agreed.

“Would you call it a shakedown?” Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked.“I have said since the beginning that BP ought to be responsible for all of this cleanup,” Boehner said. “The fact is that they’ve agreed to put this $20 billion in escrow. I don’t know what context Mr. Barton was making that remark, but I’m glad that BP has accepted responsibility for their actions.”


Barton — the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — apologized this morning to Hayward, who is facing questioning from the committee’s subcommittee on oversight.

“I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown,” Barton said.

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