Gulf State senator slams Dems' handling of oil spill in GOP's weekly address

Republicans pulled no punches attacking President Barack Obama and Democrats' handling of the Gulf Coast oil spill in their weekly radio address on Saturday.

GOP Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker delivered the address in which he contended that “many” of the president’s “actions have actually taken us in the wrong direction.”

After accusing the president of playing politics during a Tuesday night Oval Office address on the Gulf Coast crisis, Wicker attacked the proposed increase in oil fees and the six-month moratorium on offshore oil drilling.

“The administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling has the potential to become the third wave of this disaster,” Wicker said.

Wicker also went after the two top-ranking Democratic congressional leaders for pushing a raise in oil cleanup funds.

“Democrats plan to increase oil cleanup fees and raid those funds to pay for unrelated programs. These funds are needed to clean up spills, not to satisfy Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi’s desire to raise federal spending,” Wicker said.

An aide for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) responded to Wicker’s attack in kind.

"While Democrats in Congress are working to ensure that the federal government has the adequate resources to respond to this catastrophe, Republicans in Congress are apologizing to BP and blocking legislation to strengthen the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. We will continue to push for this legislation and ensure that BP is held responsible for this disaster and taxpayers are protected,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill responded in a statement to The Hill.

The Mississippi senator wrapped his remarks by encouraging people to visit the beaches of the Gulf Coast because in addition to the ecological damage the ongoing oil spill has caused, it has hit the region’s economy particularly hard.

“But what we in the Gulf states really need is to have our way of life back. We want our jobs back, our economy back, and we need our tourists back. So please come and visit us. You deserve a vacation, and we could use the business.”