House Votes to Stop Energy Loans
Republicans pass the “No More Solyndras Act”
The Republican Party pushed a bill through the House that would eliminate ongoing federal loan guarantees that exist as a part of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package, enacted shortly after he assumed office in 2009. While the bill has no hope of successfully passing through the Democrat-rich Senate, it does stand to highlight one of the major shortcomings in Obama’s presidency mere months before he attempts to earn a second term in office.
Passing on a mainly party-line vote at 245-161, the bill would require the United States Treasury to review and approve any further loans given through the energy sector stimulus funds while reiterating the law that forbids subordinating loans, allowing for private investors to be repaid before the government.
Dubbed the “No More Solyndras Act,” the move by Republicans is an effort to bring public notice to the taxpayer money lost in bad investments through the stimulus program, particularly the $500 million given to solar power company Solyndra LLC, a firm that went bankrupt in the face of Chinese competition soon after receiving its government loan.
“I’m stunned by the cavalier manner in which the administration squandered all of these tax dollars,” said Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “yet says it has no regrets, no apologies, about its handling of the program. Burning money is one source of energy that the country doesn’t need.”
Members of the Democratic Party have dismissed the vote as partisan and not useful to the debate over stimulus funds, adding that the Republican claim that the Solyndra loan was made for political reasons remains unproven.
“It’s clear that this legislation is a political exercise,” said Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado. “It does nothing but attempt to keep the word ‘Solyndra’ in the news.”