GOP Lawmaker Apologizes for Apologizing to BP

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Joe Barton has been called on the carpet by his own party.

It all started when Barton apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward, accusing the White House of shaking down BP to set up a compensation fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill. GOP leaders summoned Barton to the Capitol and demanded he apologize.

Two Republican officials say the leaders also threatened to strip Barton of his seniority on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Barton is chairman-in-waiting of the panel.

Barton apologized and said his remarks had been "misconstrued." The GOP leaders issued their own statement, saying Barton's statements were wrong.

Other Republicans pressed for Barton's punishment. There's word that at least two in the leadership are still considering that option.


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