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US Senators React to President's Remarks on Oil Leak

Tuesday night, President Barack Obama discussed the oil leak coming from a British Petroleum well in the Gulf of Mexico during a prime time address to the nation. In the speech, he said BP will pay for damages related to the leak, including residents and businesses along the coast that have been impacted.Today, Missouri’s two senators reacted to President Obama’s remarks. KSMU’s Missy Shelton reports.

US Senator Kit Bond, a Republican, describes the speech as underwhelming. He says the president should not have used the speech to push for legislation aimed at curtailing energy consumption.

Bond says, “The American people needed to know that their commander in chief was completely focused, committed, and capable of cleaning up this tragic disaster, assisting the residents of the Gulf Coast and holding BP accountable. Instead, the American people saw a president willing to use the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history as an opportunity to promote a new national energy tax, which would punish struggling families with higher energy costs. A bait and switch of using the Gulf oil spill to push cap and trade, taxes on energy is the kind of over reach we’ll deeply regret.”

Sharing her thoughts on the President’s speech, US Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, says the president is in a tough position.

McCaskill says, “The best minds in the world have not been able to figure out how to solve it quickly in the Gulf. There’s nothing like a problem that’s really hard to solve to make a president squirm. It’s hard. It’s interesting because some of the same people who say, ‘Get government out” are now saying, ‘Where’s government?’ I’m not sure that the American public right now is as willing to listen to speeches as they might have been at one point in time. I think it’s harder for him to convince people that what he’s doing is the right thing to do when they see the oil coming out of that well 24/7 on ever television station they turn on.”

The president met with BP executives today to discuss the expectations outlined in last night’s speech.