Solyndra: GOP tries to explain away loan-guarantee hypocrisy
Featuring the flipflop stylings of John Boehner, Darrel Issa, and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Southern Co.).
David Roberts at Grist:
In hyping the Solyndra faux scandal, Republicans have gone after the loan-guarantee program with guns blazing. It is, they charge, an example of big government trying to “pick winners.” And by golly they just can’t support big government picking winners!
Except, uh, turns out they can. In their haste to condemn everything connected to Obama, Republicans have stepped on a bit of a rake. After all, history — recent history! — is replete with examples of Republicans pushing for loan guarantees for energy businesses in their districts. (I poked a bit of fun at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] and Rep. Cliff Stearns [R-Fla.] over this stuff.)
Having stumbled into this thicket of hypocrisy, Republicans are now flailing about, trying to free themselves. It ain’t pretty.
Take House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). A company called USEC wants to build a uranium-enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio. It can’t raise enough private capital on its own, so it needs a loan guarantee from the government. Boehner has been vigorously advocating for the company … picking it, you might say, as a winner.
How is this different from what Obama did with Solyndra? Take it away, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel:
This is not politically motivated ‘stimulus’ spending. It is a sensible, bipartisan energy project that President Obama promised elected officials in both parties that he would support, but is now dragging his feet.
Your loan guarantees: politically motivated stimulus spending. Our loan guarantees: sensible, bipartisan energy projects. Got it.
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