Congressmen Calling for Sweeping Changes to MMS

New Orleans, La. – New York Congressman Ed Towns, a Democrat, has been meeting with government agencies in the Gulf Coast battling the oil spill. The chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee says a new plan to split up staff in charge of oversight from those imposing fines is worth a try.

"Let's face it. There seemed to have been a little hanky panky with MMS and the industry. And, they were too cozy. There's no if, ands or buts about it. And of course we hope that through this process maybe that'll break it up."

Ranking Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California joined Towns for the New Orleans visit, which included a flyover of the spill. He says MMS has also been careless with contracts and record-keeping.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.