Fellow GOP Congressman Wants Barton Off Panel
Florida lawmaker blasts apology to BP
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2010 2:34 PM CDT
Rep. Joe Barton answers questions following a two-hour, closed-door meeting with officials from BP America, and Transocean, on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, in Washington, May 4, 2010.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – A fellow Republican has called on Joe Barton to step down from the House Energy Committee for apologizing to BP's CEO. Rep. Jeff Miller, who represents the Pensacola district of Florida—one of the areas most affected by the Gulf oil spill—said Barton's conciliatory comments to Tony Hayward "call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee," the Hill reports.

Barton apologized to Hayward for the Obama administration's efforts to create a $20 billion fund to pay damages to those affected by the spill, which Barton characterized as a "shakedown." Some top Republicans sought to distance themselves as well: "I have said since the beginning that BP ought to be held responsible for every dime of this tragedy," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.