Michele Bachmann: BP Escrow Fund Shouldn't be Used for Political Purposes
It's a good thing that BP agreed to put $20 billion into an independently-run escrow fund to pay for economic damages from the Gulf oil spill, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said in an interview with CBS Minneapolis station WCCO Wednesday. She added, however, that the next step is to make sure the money is distributed appropriately and not misused for political purposes.
"We want to make sure people are fully compensated," Bachmann said. At the same time, she said, it's important to understand the fund is not necessarily "an unending pot of money."
"This can't be, in other words, a political distribution of money," Bachmann said.
Bachmann, like other Republican and Democratic lawmakers, said "the American taxpayer shouldn't be on the hook for even one dime of this damage" from the spill. She said that the escrow fund ensures "at least that little bit of breathing space to know that there will be money that people can access to compensate for their losses."
While she approves of the deal the White House negotiated with BP over the escrow fund, Bachmann said it appears "the president has taken his eye off the ball" when it comes to the most important task at hand -- stopping the leak.CBSNews.com Special Report: Disaster in the Gulf
"The emphasis has been on... who's rear end to kick or who to bring a criminal lawsuit against," she said. "The very first signal the administration sent is, 'We're going to criminally sue you.' We need to know, did that cause BP to pull back?"
She added that the president's decision to put a moratorium on deep water offshore drilling will send oil rigs to other countries, further damaging the U.S. economy.
"We have three [rigs] that have already left the Gulf region and have made commitments elsewhere, how many more will there be?" she said. "The rest of the world hasn't shut down their drilling."
Watch the report from WCCO below: