Top Republicans threatened to strip Barton of committee spot

It remains to be seen if the statement will appease irate members of the GOP conference such as Rep. Jo Bonner (Ala.), who demanded that Barton "retract" his apology to BP.

Bonner, described by a colleague as one of the most even tempered members of Congress, participated in a heated discussion on the floor with Boehner, Rep. Jeff Miller (Fla.) and Rep. Sue Myrick (N.C.) on Thursday. All were "furious," Miller said, with Barton for making "reprehensible" comments about a White House shakedown.

Bonner, a member of Boehner's inner circle and ranking member of the ethics committee, commands a lot of respect from the minority leader.