House Authorizes Additional Funds for BP Oil Spill Cleanup

June 10, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S . House of Representatives passed emergency legislation to ensure that funds remain available to the U.S. Coast Guard for its ongoing response to the BP oil spill. Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA-02) was an original co-sponsor of the identical companion legislation to S. 3473, which the Senate passed last night and now goes to President Obama for a signature of final approval.

The bill authorizes the Obama administration to transfer more money into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund’s Emergency Fund. Current law limits the amount the administration can transfer into the fund to no more than $150 million a year, but already this year, the government has nearly depleted that amount in its effort to contain and clean up the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking on the House floor in favor of the bill, Cao said that on a recent boat tour of Bartaria Bay, he saw “patches of brown oil infringing on the oyster beds that are so integral to the seafood industry of Louisiana, and as I saw the oil as it encroached upon the marches and wetlands, my heart dropped for the state of Louisiana as well as for the many fishermen and many small businesses that are impact by this catastrophe.”

Cao said he also spent time visiting small business owners, including operators of an open seafood market in Westwego where days of operation had been reduced from five or six days a week to two days a week.

As of yesterday, BP had yet to pay $69 million in in oil spill cleanup costs billed to date by the government. BP has told members of Congress it will pay the bill by the end of next week.

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