House Lawmakers Debate Obama Administration's Response to Oil Spill

A year after the Gulf oil spill, House lawmakers are engaging in partisan debate over the Obama administration's response to one of the nation's worst environmental and economic disasters.

The Republican majority on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee took the administration to task Thursday for allowing BP to take the lead in response efforts. BP PLC owns the well that spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour joined other Republicans in saying that a moratorium on deep water drilling imposed after the spill added to the area's economic woes. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the panel, praised the administration for implementing new safety measures, including requiring that oil companies show they can cap a well, to ensure that such a blowout will not happen again.