Looks like Fred Upton has run out of patience with the White House on Solyndra, where a half-billion taxpayer dollars got flushed down the low-flush toilet by the Department of Energy. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will give the Obama administration one more day to produce staffers for depositions with investigators to find out how that loss was allowed to happen, or Upton will call for a vote to authorize subpoenas:
Congressional Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are putting together subpoenas for five White House aides who allegedly worked to pour more than $500 million in federal loans guarantees into Solyndra, a California solar power company that has since gone defunct. It filed for bankruptcy last year despite the loan support.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to meet on Friday to issue subpoenas for five executive branch employees that they say were involved in the Department of Energy loan given to Solyndra. This will be the third subpoena the committee has considered to obtain information or testimony regarding the Solyndra case.
The staffers being targeted include Kevin Carroll, Kelly Colyar and Fouad Saad of the Office of Management and Budget, Heather Zichal, a White House aide who worked on energy and Aditya Kumar, who worked for Rahm Emanuel in the West Wing and whose name appears in emails on the subject of Solyndra.
Emanuel himself is not mentioned as a potential target of the Republican inquiry, but Kumar is closely tied to the former Chief of Staff. The now Chicago Mayor said he would cooperate if he were ever subpoenaed in the case.
The Committee Chairman, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) said in a statement “Friday marks one year since we launched our investigation into the half billion dollar Solyndra loan guarantee, and still, the Obama administration will not even answer the most basic questions about what took place. The level of White House obstruction goes so far that they have blocked the committee from having a simple conversation with those executive branch employees who know the most about Solyndra’s loan guarantee.”
It’s not just the fact that the Obama administration made a bad call on the green-tech stimulus loan, an effort authorized by Congress. Upton and his committee want to know why the DoE approved that loan over the objections of its own auditors, how it managed to get a sweetheart interest rate despite its known financial problems, and most importantly why the DoE broke the law by subordinating the taxpayer stake in Solyndra to that of Obama bundler George Kaiser.
So far, the White House has offered precious little of the transparency they loudly proclaim when it comes to Congressional oversight, especially on Solyndra and Operation Fast and Furious. Don’t expect that to change before tomorrow.