Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

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Himes Backs Subpoena Power for Oil Spill Commission

June 23, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) helped pass legislation yesterday that will grant subpoena power to the commission investigating the BP oil spill (H.R. 5481).  The commission, which was established by Executive Order and based on legislation introduced in the House in early May (H.R. 5241), will investigate the causes of BP’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and report back to the Administration with recommendations for how to prevent and mitigate the impact of any future spills. 

The President lacks the authority to give the commission subpoena power through an Executive Order, so congressional action is necessary to give the commission this essential investigatory tool.

“We will hold BP accountable for absolutely all the costs—economic and environmental—of the spill that their irresponsible action caused,” said Himes. “This bipartisan commission must have every resource at its disposal to conduct a thorough analysis of the failures that led to this tragedy.”

Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate (S. 3462), but attempts to bring the bill to the floor under unanimous consent have been blocked.