In their zeal to exploit the Solyndra “controversy,” House Republicans have planned a high-profile hearing today on the Obama administration’s clean-energy agenda. But the lingering hypocrisy issue is a hurdle the GOP doesn’t know how to clear.
In the wake of Solyndra’s bankruptcy, Republicans want to make a larger indictment against clean-energy programs in general. This, however, looks pretty foolish when the same Republicans complaining about the Department of Energy’s loan-guarantees program for clean tech have also fought for funding from the same program for companies in their own states and districts.
Yesterday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who’ll chair today’s committee hearing, got caught with his hand in the guaranteed-loan cookie jar, and Michael McAuliffe moves the ball forward today with even more sweeping examples.
The GOP-led House Oversight Committee may be accusing the White House of a “job killing” green energy agenda in a hearing Thursday — but at least ten Republicans on the panel have signed letters seeking to land green energy jobs in their districts.
In dozens of letters obtained by The Huffington Post, the lawmakers, led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), argue convincingly about Department of Energy funding going to their favored projects, often touting the job-creating potential of numerous endeavors. […]
Although the guaranteed loan project began under the Bush administration, many Republicans were quick to hammer the deal as evidence of “cronyism” — and proof that Obama’s key green jobs effort was a huge bust.
As it turns out, many of the committee members set to grill Obama administration officials Thursday were plenty eager to help constituents cash in on the efforts.
A spokesperson for the committee’s Democrats told McAuliffe, “The Republicans actually don’t seem to understand their hypocrisy. They trash the entire clean energy program after writing glowing letters to commend it. The truth is the program works, which is why they want the money for their districts.”
To me, the problem isn’t just that congressional Republicans kept seeking loans from a DOE program they believe shouldn’t exist. The more glaring issue is that these same GOP policymakers insisted, in writing, that clean-tech loan guarantees would help create jobs. And yet, today, the same Republicans are pointing to the same loan program as being part of a “job-killing” agenda.
Did the GOP even try to think this though before scheduling the hearing?