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Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Transmitting Budget Amendments to Respond to the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

May 12, 2010

Dear Madam Speaker:

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster that can seriously damage the economy and environment of our Gulf States and jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who live throughout the Gulf region.

That is why since the initial explosion on the drilling rig occurred, the Federal Government has launched and coordinated a unified and relentless response to this crisis.

From day one of this spill, we made preparations to stage equipment and personnel for a worst-case scenario, and there is underway a sustained, multi-agency response to this disaster. My Administration and I will not rest--or be satisfied--until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil on the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of this region are able to go back to their lives and livelihoods.

Part of that effort is to hold BP, and other responsible parties in this spill, accountable for the crisis. The Federal Government will aggressively pursue full compensation for the containment and clean up, as well as any damages incurred because of this spill.

At the same time, I will spare no effort to clean up whatever damage is caused, assist those whose livelihoods have been affected by this spill, and restore the Gulf coast. We cannot allow the potentially protracted pursuit of claims to prevent us from swift action to help those harmed by this spill.

That is why I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed amendment to Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 proposals in my FY 2011 Budget.

The amendment includes General Provision proposals for the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, the Interior, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and the Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency. I request these proposals be considered as emergency requirements, since this request responds to urgent and essential needs.

The details of this request are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Together, these amendments will provide critical funds and authorities needed to respond to this spill as well as changes to current law to better prepare the Nation for any future spills.

The people of the Gulf region--the hard-working individuals, families, and business owners--have already begun to incur significant economic losses due to this disaster. They face the prospect of greater losses as the full impact becomes clear, in large part because of the unique relationship between their traditional livelihoods and the fragile environment. The Gulf coast is one of the richest and most beautiful ecosystems on the planet, and for centuries, its residents have enjoyed and made a living from the fish that swim in these waters and the wildlife that inhabit these shores. We will do everything in our power to support those who are affected by the spill, protect our natural resources, demand reimbursement from the responsible parties for costs incurred, rebuild what has been damaged, and help this region persevere as it has done so many times before.



Barack Obama, Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Transmitting Budget Amendments to Respond to the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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