This week on a local Iowa radio show, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said the Obama administration has not responded adequately to BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But according to King, it wasn’t because there was confusion and disarray within the administration. Rather, the problem is that President Obama has it out for Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal because Jindal is a Republican:
CALLER: You know it’s absolutely despicable the way our president is acting on this oil slick. And it boils down that the governor is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat and he’s not gonna help in any way to make him, to help Louisiana. … So as far as I’m concerned the blood is on his hands. [...]
KING: I appreciate Larry’s statement and I agree with his analysis of it. As I watch the reluctance on the part of the White House to cooperate with Bobby Jindal. I’d like to think it’s being done out of policy perspective, but there is a political component. And to delay these skimmers all this time, and to refuse to wave the Jones Act, well essentially they passed that hot potato around, and nobody asked for it.
Not only is it absurd to suggest that the President is purposely refusing to give federal assistance to a state in an economic and environmental crisis because that state’s governor is of the opposite political party, but also, King’s accusation is based on a falsehood. In fact, Obama did not “refuse to wave the Jones Act,” as McClatchy reported this week:
Maritime law experts, government officials and independent researchers say that the claim is false. The Jones Act isn’t an impediment at all, they say, and it hasn’t blocked anything. “Totally not true,” said Mark Ruge, counsel to the Maritime Cabotage Task Force, a coalition of U.S. shipbuilders, operators and labor unions. “It is simply an urban myth that the Jones Act is the problem.”
Indeed, FactCheck.org has also weighed in, noting that “the Jones Act has yet to be an issue in the response efforts. … Reports claiming that the federal government has refused help are not only incorrect — foreign assistance has been utilized — but are also misleading.”
Earlier in the interview, King complained about the “professional hyperventilators out there that are monitoring everything that I and others say” and said, “My approach is to just go forward, make sure that what I say is based on solid, well informed, broad, in-depth truth.” “I just try to give well-grounded, well-informed truth,” King reiterated. It doesn’t seem like he’s off to a good start. (HT: Iowa Independent)