New Orleans, La. – Democratic Senator Landrieu held a news conference on Capitol Hill with Republican colleagues who supported the bill. Nine of the ten senators from Gulf states affected by the spill are co-signers. Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas has not joined in the effort. But Landrieu says a healthy Gulf of Mexico is essential to the nation, which gets 30 percent of its commercial fish supply from the region.
"Thirty percent of the nation's crude oil supply and 34 percent of natural gas comes from this area of our country. And I might add that $3 trillion dollars is contributed to the national economy by these Gulf Coast states."
Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi says the BP money will help the whole Gulf fishing industry.
"I'm pleased to mention in the case of Mississippi that this bill will promote Gulf Coast seafood. Gulf seafood was particularly damaged, not so much because the seafood itself was damaged but because of the perception."
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida says his state is still hurting from the spill.
"Just a week ago we had a hearing in Florida, heard from real people in the real world that were hurt in a real way. And I guess the message to them is hopefully we'll get our job done here quickly. We'll have some cooperation on the other side of the aisle, from the other side of the building, in the House, and move on to tell the people that have been hurt by this - that happened a year ago - that help's on the way."
Republican Congressman Steve Scalise of Jefferson is working in the House to file similar legislation.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.