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Quote Of The Day

"I’m speaking totally for myself, I’m not speaking for the Republican Party, I’m not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself. But I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. 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 — with the Attorney General of the United States who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the interests of the American people — participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that is unprecedented in our nation’s history, that’s got no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for the future.

If I called you into my office, and I had the subcommittee chairman Mr. Stupak with me, who was legitimately conducting an oversight investigation on your company, and said if you put so many millions of dollars in a project in my congressional district, I could go to jail and should go to jail. Now, there is no question that British Petroleum owns this lease, that BP made decisions that objective people think compromise safety. There is no question that BP is liable for the damages. But we have a due process system where we go through hearings, in some cases court cases, litigation and determine what those damages are and when those damages should be paid.

So I’m only speaking for myself, I’m not speaking for anybody else, but I apologize, I do not want to live in a country where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is again in my words amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize." -Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this morning.