Late last month, Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue said that he feels its appropriate for taxpayers to cover some of the costs of cleaning up the Gulf Coast in the wake of British Petroleum’s ongoing oil spill.
“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,” he said.
And when Donohue says "money from the government," that necessary means money from American taxpayers. When he says "we" are "all" going to have bear the financial burden, Donohue is suggesting the public and BP split the tab.
Of course, congressional Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce are joined at the hip. Does the GOP agree with their buddy Donohue about taxpayers helping pay for the disaster? Actually, yes. Brian Beutler has this report.
In response to a question from TPMDC, House Minority Leader John Boehner backed Tom Donohue, President of the Chamber of Commerce, in saying taxpayers should help pick up the tab.
"I think the people responsible in the oil spill — BP and the federal government — should take full responsibility for what’s happening there." […]
The Chamber is extremely influential in Republican politics, so on that level it’s not particularly surprising that Boehner has Donohue’s back on this one. But the politics of asking the federal government (i.e. taxpayers) to help cover the multi-billion dollar cleanup and rescue efforts are deadly. Look for Democrats to jump all over this one.
Democrats in Congress are seeking to lift (or eliminate entirely) the cap on liabilities that BP has for cleaning up after its spill, which currently stands at just $75 million.
Democrats want BP to pick up the tab.
John Boehner, the Republican Minority Leader, says Republicans want you to help BP out and pick-up "your part" of the tab.