Rep. Stearns: Obama Should Fire Staff on Solyndra

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011 11:27 AM

By Dan Weil

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Republicans are attacking the Obama administration hard for its decision to grant now failed solar panel maker Solyndra a $535 million loan guarantee. Florida Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said someone in the White House should be fired over the incident, The Hill reports.

“I think someone should be fired, and I think at some point you’re going to have to go to the top people and say, ‘Why did this happen?’ he told reporters Wednesday. “You can’t lose this kind of money and have the FBI indicate there is criminal activity here and not have somebody fired.”

At a meeting of Stearns’ subcommittee on the issue, Republican representatives concentrated on e-mails showing the White House tried to hasten a final decision on Solyndra’s loan guarantee so that Vice President Joe Biden could announce it at the September 2009 debut of the company’s new factory, according to The Hill.

“The documents demonstrate that, when DOE [Department of Energy] was reviewing the Solyndra guarantee in 2009, it was well aware of the financial problems the deal posed,” Stearns said. “What the documents show is that the rush to push out stimulus dollars may have impacted the depth and quality of DOE and OMB’s [Office of Management and Budget’s] review.”

Stearns connected the loan guarantee to the 2009 fiscal stimulus package. “Only after the Obama administration took control and the stimulus passed was the Solyndra deal pushed through,” he said.





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