A U.S. House committee reported that President Obama’s aides pressed White House budget officials to review a $535 million federal loan guarantee to Solyndra, a failed solar-maker manufacturer that recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Republicans on a House Energy subcommittee released internal administration documents Wednesday revealing an attempt to expedite completion of the loan package so that Vice President Joe Biden could publicly announce the plan at a company event two years ago.
The report, which included findings of a seven-month investigation, was released before two administration officials were grilled about White House support to risk hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money for a speculative investment in energy technology. The Department of Energy and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "did not take adequate steps to protect taxpayer dollars," read the report. "This was a half-billion-dollar mistake," asserted Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.).
Shortly after Solyndra shut down its operations, which resulted in 1,100 immediate layoffs, the FBI raided the company’s headquarters, because of allegations that executives knowingly misled the government to swindle more than $500 million in federal loan guarantees.
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Photo: Solyndra workers leave Solyndra in Fremont, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011: AP Images