House Seeks Obama Records
November 4, 2011
By JOE STEPHENS and CAROL D. LEONNIG
Republicans on a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel on Thursday overrode vigorous Democratic objections and took the apparently unprecedented step of authorizing subpoenas for internal White House communications related to a $500 million taxpayer loan guarantee for the failed solar company Solyndra.
Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, ranking Democrat on the panel, called it a “sad day” for the committee and “an act of irresponsible partisanship,” stressing that the committee had never before subpoenaed the White House.
Republicans said they had hoped to avoid the step but that the committee’s long-running investigation had failed to get to the bottom of why Solyndra, which collapsed in August and is now under criminal investigation, was selected to receive the Obama administration’s first loan guarantee under the stimulus act. President Barack Obama last year visited the company’s California operation, whose biggest investors were venture capital funds linked to Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama fundraiser.
Some Republicans have questioned whether the administration rushed stimulus funding out the door to benefit its political supporters. On Oct. 14, the White House told the committee that it would not comply with a request for all internal White House communications regarding the Solyndra loan.