Barton will keep top GOP spot on Energy and Commerce panel

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) will retain his top spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, according to GOP lawmakers.

Barton, who came under fire after apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward at a hearing last week for the way the government had treated the oil company, will stay on as ranking member of the committee, which oversees oil and gas regulation, among other areas.

Barton gave a "heartfelt apology" to members of the GOP conference on Wednesday morning, according to one of his toughest critics, Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.).

Bonner told The Hill that Barton's apology was the "end of that."


House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that the Barton matter "is closed." 

Following a closed-door meeting with GOP lawmakers, the top-ranking House Republican told reporters that "Mr. Barton apologized to the members for his poor choice of words, he retracted his statement last week and apologized and the issue is closed." 

This post was updated at 10:41 a.m.