The Huffington Post reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants American taxpayers to pay for the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
Chamber President Tom Donohue believes in sharing when it comes to cleaning up individual liability.
ABC News political blog The Note reports that Donohue says the Chamber will find a way to get the government to share in the cost of the cleanup.
“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."
Donahue was talking to reporters in Washington D.C. at an event sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor last month.
At the present time, BP is on the hook for just $75 million. But a challenge could be waged to that cap if the company was negligent or violated safety rules. BP has said it will pay all reasonable claims in excess of the $75 million. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has introduced a bill to raise the cap to $10 billion.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which represents major industries, has been critical of the Obama administration and what it calls excess government spending.
The Chamber likes to remind the public that 96% of its members are small businesses as stated on its Web site.
In response to a specific question about whether he supports Donohue and the Chamber, House Minority Leader John Boehner said he agrees.
"I think the people responsible in the oil spill--BP and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there," Boehner said at his weekly press conference Thursday morning.
Boehner was responding to a question from Talking Points Memo (TPM)’s Brian Beutler who asked “Do you agree with Tom Donohue of the chamber that the government and taxpayers should pitch in to clean up the oil spill?”
When the Huffington Post tried to confirm the exchange Boehner’s office said Boehner was making 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,” according to Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. ”