John Boehner and fellow Republicans are, naturally, furious at freaking Rep. Joe Barton for apologizing to BP earlier this morning, at the beginning of Tony Hayward's hearing. Why did he do that? He could lose his fancy committee seat!
Boehner — who has a pretty high tolerance for these sort of "shakedown" or "Chicago-style thuggery" accusations leveled at the president, since he makes about 98% of them — was asked about Barton's statement on Fox News. He did not seem happy!
"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."
Boehner's unusually direct here in explaining why Barton is wrong: BP, in fact, agreed to this deal. As a private company, it could have said no, but (a) that would've been kind of insane, PR-wise, and (b) the government would've then resorted to more punitive legal action. Not worth it!
Meanwhile, the POLITICO says that GOP leaders have been "hunkered down" in Boehner's office dealing with this shit, with some members saying he should lose his incredibly powerful position as ranking member of the Energy & Commerce committee. (Probably the members who want his position!)
Barton, headed into Minority Leader John Boehner's office, said calls for his resignation are "news to me."
Asked whether he planned to stay put as top Republican on the committee, he declared "Damn straight."