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Congress: On the hot seat

The AP previews BP CEO Tony Hayward’s testimony today on Capitol Hill. “BP chief executive Tony Hayward has said famously that he’d like his life back. First, he’ll need to survive a congressional hearing that some are describing along the lines of a public execution. ‘[I expect him to be sliced and diced,’ said Representative Bart Stupak, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations, which hauls the British executive in for a hearing/flaying today. Here’s advice from a Washington lawyer, Stan Brand, who specializes in criminal law and Congress: ‘Put on your asbestos suit and get ready.’ … Stupak stressed that the carving up of Hayward he envisions has a larger purpose: to come up with a legislative proposal to prevent such accidents in the future.”

“In his first appearance before a Congressional panel Thursday, embattled BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward is expected to apologize for the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and outline the extent to which his company is going to plug the leak and clean up the environmental mess,” Roll Call says, adding, “In the remarks provided in advance to reporters, Hayward opens with a contrite tone, saying that the explosion and resulting spill ‘never should have happened -- and I am deeply sorry that they did.’ Hayward will say he fully grasps ‘the terrible reality of the situation’ and was ‘personally devastated’ when he learned that 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon rig.”


Roll Call also has this headline: “Obama’s Bipartisan Hopes Rest on Scott Brown.”

“Need a lift? Try calling Sen. Dianne Feinstein,” Roll Call writes. “The California Democrat offered seats on her private flights home to at least three of her colleagues in 2009, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), according to their annual financial reports. Both the House and the Senate released Members’ yearly financial disclosures on Wednesday, providing an overview of their individual holdings and debts for calendar year 2009, as well as a plethora of quirky details.”

Familiar sentence? “Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Wednesday defended a colleague who is involved in an ethics controversy,” The Hill writes. “They also expressed concern about how the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) is operating, making their case for changes to the lower chamber’s ethics process. CBC lawmakers say Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), one of eight lawmakers the OCE is scrutinizing information on, has been a leader on ethics-related issues. The OCE is scrutinizing an amendment to the financial regulatory reform bill that passed the House last year, The Hill reported Wednesday. Watt offered the amendment and then withdrew it within two days of a fundraiser held in his honor, according to a review of public documents.”