DeMint took money from BP, then blocked the investigation of the oil spill on the floor of the Senate

DeMint took money from BP, then blocked the investigation of the oil spill on the floor of the Senate.  This legislation passed the House with the support of 169 Republicans, but DeMint blocked it from reaching the floor of the senate.

Here’s DeMint on the floor of the Senate:

In the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, DeMint the floor to block S.3462, and kill the subpoena of BP’s records relating to the spill and also neuter the oil spill investigation commission. This July 1 report by Mother Jones explains what DeMint did to block investigation after the oil had already been spilling for over 60 days:

Yesterday Republicans blocked a bill that would grant subpoena power to the oil spill commission President Obama formed to investigate the Deepwater Horizon disaster and make policy recommendations to prevent future drilling calamities.
But when Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) attempted to bring up the bill under unanimous consent yesterday, Jim DeMint (R-SC) blocked it. His spokesman told Politico that DeMint didn’t object to it personally. On the floor, the senator said he was objecting “on behalf of other members of the Republican caucus.” Who in particular? Well, obviously no one wanted to admit as much.

– Source:

Politico did a story on the incident as well:

A similar measure passed the House last week by a vote of 420-1. A spokesman for DeMint said the South Carolina senator himself does not object to giving the commission subpoena power, but was acting on behalf of “members of the Republican conference.”



Background on DeMint’s opposition to “net neutrality”

I’ll write more on this later, but want to point to an excellent background article on DeMint’s grandstanding against the FCC in the past 24 hours.  Since the article was written last month, DeMint has jumped on the bandwagon:

Net neutrality, a guiding principle for preserving a free and fair Internet, means that Internet service providers are not allowed to discriminate based on content for its customers. However, telecommunications firms — like AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and others — are firmly against net neutrality because they would like to increase their profits by deciding which websites customers can see, and at what speed. The telecom industry has dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into a lobby campaign against net neutrality. As the FCC now takes up net neutrality rule making, the industry is pushing an “outside approach” of hiring front groups and astroturf operatives.

This morning, representatives from various front groups launched a new coordinated campaign to kill net neutrality. Speaking on Capitol Hill, these front groups took turns decrying the evils of the principle of a fair and unbiased Internet. … Americans for Prosperity — a corporate front group founded by oil billionaire David Koch but also funded by telecom interests — unveiled a new ad smearing net neutrality as a “government takeover” (the initial ad buy is $1.4 milliondollars). And Grover Norquist, representing his “Americans for Tax Reform” corporate front group, said net neutrality is like what China does, “putting policemen on every corner, on the street or on the Internet.”

Read the rest at Think Progress: Telecoms’ Secret Plan To Attack Net Neutrality: Target Video Gamers And Stoke Fear Of Chinese Censorship. May 11, 2010.

There is no mention in the article of the anti-tax language that DeMint has been using.  Right-wing blogs have picked up the anti-tax angle, which they discuss to the exclusion of net neutrality.

DeMint has received more than half a million dollars in donations from the communications/electronics industry in his political career.

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