Congress punts on setting aside BP fines for Gulf
NEW ORLEANS - Congress has passed a stopgap three-month transportation bill that does not include a provision to send 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to Gulf states.
The bill was passed Thursday after heated partisan debate.
A Senate version of the bill included language to set aside fine money for Gulf states. But that provision was stripped in the rush to get a stopgap measure passed before the House goes into recess.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, blamed House Republicans for this new delay in getting the fines set aside for the Gulf.
BP PLC is expected to pay billions of dollars in fines for the spill and Louisiana is banking on that money to move coastal restoration plans forward.