Palazzo role seen as key to securing BP penalties

For weeks, Rep. Steven Palazzo has been lobbying House Republicans leaders to support legislation that would send the Gulf Coast 80 percent of the fine money BP will pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The freshman Republican from Mississippi wants the bill – called the RESTORE Act – passed by April so Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas can start spending the money on restoration projects.

“The federal government shouldn’t profit off our pain and suffering,” he said. “It doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything. This comes from BP making the oil spill right and being held accountable.”

But after a year in Congress, Palazzo has learned that passing legislation can be a frustratingly slow process.

Clarion Ledger