Liability cap for oil spills need significant increase, Dems say

Murkowski, who backs raising the amount from $75 million, said $10 billion could be a burden on smaller and independent oil companies because they won't be able to afford the bond and insurance, giving large oil companies an advantage. 

The White House backs a raise in the cap but haven't said by how much they'd want it increased. Administration officials have said there isn't a cap on economic damages if British Petroleum is found negligent in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Officials also have said several times that they expect BP to pay for all damages related to the spill -- containment, clean up and any negative economic effects on coastal businesses. 

It's likely that BP was negligent or "gross negligent," Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidLobbying World Mitch McConnell is not invincible Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary MORE (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday. 

Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterSenate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views Collins votes against Trump judicial pick Progressive group targets Susan Collins over Trump judicial pick MORE (R-La.) and Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' 'Persuadable' voters are key to the 2020 election — and the non-screaming news industry MORE (R-Ala.) have put together a bill that would make BP liable for up to $20 billion in damages, they said today. 

A House panel's investigation into the spill revealed several deficiencies with the deepwater well's "blowout preventer," which should have stopped the flow of oil still pouring into the Gulf.