- Associated Press - Sunday, June 20, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the new office set up to handle damage claims for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is pledging that all eligible and legitimate claims will be paid — and paid promptly.

Kenneth Feinberg, who is the chief of the Independent Claims Facility, wants victims to come forward, file a claim for an emergency payment and then work with the office to come up with a claims program.

Last week, BP agreed to President Obama’s request for a $20 billion compensation fund.

Mr. Feinberg dismissed one Republican’s description of the fund as a “shakedown.” He said he’s been getting bipartisan advice and it doesn’t help to “politicize” the program.

Mr. Feinberg spoke Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”