So far, Republicans have not criticized the administration’s handling of the situation. But that may change depending on the impact of the spill on the environment and the regional (and perhaps national) economy.
“The President has spent a whole lot of time pointing the finger at BP, and you should point a finger at BP and the other companies involved in it,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on NBC’s Meet the Press last Sunday. “We're also interested to know what the administration did. Was the Minerals Management Service a part of this administration that approved this site? It also approved this spill response plan. What kind of oversight did the administration provide during the course of the drilling?”
In his radio address Saturday, Obama – whose administration moved quickly to address the conflicts of interest at the Minerals Management Service – acknowledged this.
“Even as we continue to hold BP accountable, we also need to hold Washington accountable,” he said. “If the laws on our books are inadequate to prevent such an oil spill or if we didn’t enforce those laws – I want to know it. I want to know what worked and what didn’t work in our response to the disaster, and where oversight of the oil and gas industry broke down. We know, for example, that a cozy relationship between oil and gas companies and agencies that regulate them has long been a source of concern.”