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 ReidNo, it is not racist to question birthright citizenship McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' MORE (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday. 

Sens. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterGrocery group hires new top lobbyist Lobbying World Senate confirms Trump judge who faced scrutiny over abortion views MORE (R-La.) and Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsA better way to run the Federal Bureau of Prisons Trump admin erases key environmental enforcement tool DOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda 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.