Boehner Wants To Bail Out His Big Oil Allies-- With OUR Money! Time For This Clown To Go!
Conservatives like John Boehner and his Blue Dog allies are putting their collective foot down-- NO. MORE. UNEMPLOYMENT. INSURANCE. EXTENSIONS! Boehner calls helping hard working American families whose breadwinners have been tossed out of work because of his own reprehensible economic policies a bailout. Boehner? The architect of the actual no-strings-attached bailout that he and Bush pushed through in October, 2008, just before the election that tossed them out of control-- and away from the power to keep rewarding their avaricious and corrupt corporate allies? It was one last granddaddy of all bailouts and it was Boehner who forced dozens of Republicans to vote for it who had voted against it the previous week when Bush failed to get it passed. Yes, that Boehner. The one who helped Bush push through outrageously unfair tax reductions for the wealthy that unbalanced the entire American economic system and led directly to the staggering deficit he now sheds crocodile tears over. (Yes, and he's still defending the unfair tax cuts for the rich and the cutbacks in services for the country.)
And Boehner has another bailout in mind-- no, not helping ordinary Americans-- helping his buddies at Big Oil. Boehner has taken $258,350 from the executives and shady lobbyists at the oil industry in thinly veiled bribes-- including $15,200 from B.P.-- and now he's leading the effort to bail them out.
Congressional Democrats and the White House are toying with different ways to force BP to cover the costs of damages from the Gulf oil spill. But they face stiff opposition from industry... and it seems leading Republicans. 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."
On Friday, Donohue made clear that he opposes efforts to stick BP, a member of the Chamber, with the bill. "It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game," he said. "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."
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.
Reached in D.C. where he's conferring with Democrats in Congress, Justin Coussoule told us that he found it "odd that John Boehner and his sponsors/benefactors at the Chamber of Commerce both supported the massive no-strings attached Bush bailouts of Wall Street, but now callously refuse to assist hard working families across Ohio and the nation when they need unemployment insurance extensions."
But even more amazing given the horror story we are watching from the Gulf of Mexico now Boehner mimics the Chamber by proposing that “we the taxpayers” help bail British Petroleum out of their oily bath by funding the clean-up of the worst environmental disaster in American history. It is of note that the lax oversight and aggressive drilling without safeguards have been repeatedly cited by Mr. Boehner as “the solution” to American energy needs-- fostering our addiction to fossil fuels while denying global warming and working against development of alternative energy resources.
It is clear that Minority Leader Boehner continues to “dance with them that brought him” and now wants to leave the BP tab for those future those grandchildren taxpayers of whom he regularly namedrops.
Apparently Boehner’s rare compassion is only available to the powerful and connected-- or his regular golfing partners-- but…. I guess that is redundant.
It's important to remember that the Chamber of Commerce and Boehner work hand in glove against the interests of working families so that they can bolster the bottom lines of corporate special interests. Since the spill Donohue and Boehner have been plotting how to force the government (the taxpayers) to pick up the cost of the cleanup rather than B.P. “The head of the United States Chamber of Commerce … signaled, however, that his group would figure out a way to get the government to share in the cost of cleaning up the Gulf Coast. “It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game,” said Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “...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.”
That same day Donohue was railing against regulating Big Business in general and the oil companies specifically, a GOP mantra. Although B.P. and other oil giants funneled millions to fund the Tea Party "movement," and help present it as a "grassroots" expression of ordinary Americans, for them it was always all about Drill, Baby, Drill.
Donohue on Friday cautioned against putting too many regulations in place in the wake of the British Petroleum oil spill, saying there may not be enough information yet to make immediate, sweeping policy changes. “I was astounded yesterday that the president took full responsibility for this and said it was the federal government, and not BP, that was running the cleanup,” Donohue said at a breakfast for reporters. “Well, it was interesting to hear the admiral from the Coast Guard say, ‘We have no capacity to do this cleanup.' They’ve already broken up the regulatory body into more regulators. They’ve already got people retiring or being fired. This is the idea that we have to cover our political ass in our very, very difficult time. By the way, both parties do this kind of thing,” Donohue added. There’s a “mentality in this Congress and this administration that the more regulation, the better,” Donohue said. “I’m not too much of an advocate of doing the surgery before the diagnosis. Nor am I an advocate of grounding all the aircraft if there’s an aircraft accident, stopping all the trains if there’s a train accident,” Donohue said. “When you overregulate, you under-job.”
By the end of the day, Boehner was hysterical and backing away-- full throttle-- from his cavalier remarks about letting the taxpayers pick up the tab. Digby thinks he must be drunk on Man Tan and nicotine. "Boehner," she wrote, "is walking back his comments about having the government pay for the BP spill, but let's face facts. He was just on autopilot, echoing the Chamber of Commerce line verbatim and then got caught... Boehner is so out of touch and servile to Big Business that he's making mistakes. Big ones. Party leadership does get defeated-- just ask Tom Daschle and Tom Foley. This challenger [Justin Coussoule] is as mainstream as they come and he's very effective. The Democratic leadership should be helping and grooming him but so far, they aren't. So we should."
Please help Blue America send Boehner packing so we can get Congress back to a point where it works for the American people, not the special interests. We're trying to help Justin Coussoule raise enough money for his campaign so he can get his progressive message out effectively. If you can, please give him a hand here. And you can follow him on Twitter here.