New report slams White House spill response

The top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans to release a report Thursday that he alleged would blow holes in White House claims about its command of the oil spill response and the amount of assets deployed.

Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) report on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is titled “How the White House Public Relations Campaign on the Oil Spill is Harming the Actual Clean-up.”

“The evidence on the ground suggests that the White House has been more focused on the public relations of this crisis than with providing local officials the resources they need to deal with it,” he said in a prepared statement.

The report alleges that committee staff interviews with local parish officials in Louisiana paint a picture at odds with White House claims. Here’s a blurb:

"Parish officials maintain that the federal government has not been in control since day one. In four separate interviews, senior-ranking Parish officials described how, until the President’s visit on May 28, 2010, BP was in charge. According to one official, 'until two weeks ago [after the President’s May 28, 2010, visit], BP was in charge and the Coast Guard looked to them for direction.' Furthermore, 'Coast Guard asks BP,' not vice-versa. When specifically asked to agree or disagree with the assertion that the federal government had been in control since day one, another official firmly disagreed."