House votes to give subpoena power to oil spill commission

The House overwhelmingly approved a bill Wednesday that provides subpoena powers to a White House-created commission that is probing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The vote was 420-1 for Rep. Lois Capps’s (D-Calif.) bill that gives the authority to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Only Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) voted against it.

“Subpoena power is absolutely essential to ensuring that BP and others involved with this spill cannot stonewall the Commission,” Capps said in a prepared statement after the vote.

“With the Commission expected to begin its investigation in the coming weeks, it must have subpoena power to ensure access to all the evidence it needs from BP and other private entities to undertake a complete inquiry on the causes of the spill and make meaningful recommendations on how to prevent similar disasters,” she said.

Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSunday shows - Recession fears dominate Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel MORE (D-N.H.) is the lead sponsor of a companion measure in the Senate.