Boehner Agrees With Chamber That Taxpayers Should Share Tab For BP Oil Spill Cleanup.

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.


  1. Dave says:

    Boehner Walks It Back

    Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel, said Boehner hadn’t heard Beutler’s question and that he believes that BP should be exclusively responsible for the costs of the spill. Quoting from Steel’s e-mail to me:

    The numbnut from TPM mumbled and Boehner didn’t understand what he was asking.

    Quote from me, “Boehner made a general statement about who is responsible for the spill, and the federal government oversight was clearly lacking, but he has said repeatedly that BP is responsible for the cost of the cleanup.”

    I then turned to Beutler and asked him whether it was possible Boehner had misheard him and what the question was that he’d posed to Boehner. Beutler’s response:

    Not at all. I was front row, and the question was: “do you agree with Tom Donohue of the Chamber that the government and taxpayers should pitch in to clean up the oil spill?”


  2. Amanda Coussoule says:

    Time for someone who works for Ohio

    It’s time for someone who is working for the people of Ohio, not big oil or any number of other special interests. John Boehner would rather the people he represents– or fails to represent, more accurately– pick up the tab so that he can keep raking in the cash from BP and Big Oil.

    It’s time for change, and it’s time for someone who knows what it’s like to live, work and pay taxes in Ohio to represent the rest of us here. It’s time for Justin Coussoule for Congress. Link