Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Pete Sessions (R-Dallas), a Member of House Republican Leadership, delivered the following remarks on the House floor yesterday in support of The No More Solyndras Act. Sessions, who serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committee, brought the legislation to the House floor and managed debate for the rule.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule and the underlying bill. The underlying legislation ensures that the American taxpayers will never again be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of the Administration’s politically-motivated risky bets.
“H.R. 6213 draws on the lessons learned from the failed Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program, which invested $535 million in a solar energy company named Solyndra. Ultimately, Solyndra went bankrupt, leaving hard-working Americans with a check for over half a billion dollars.
“Solyndra has become synonymous with the Obama Administration’s reckless spending programs that have done nothing to create the jobs that our country so desperately needs. Despite warning signs that the company was unsustainable and would surely fail, the Administration was blinded by their political agenda and committed over half a billion dollars in taxpayer dollars to a privately held company.
“In fact, during a 2011 restructuring of the loan, the Administration placed private investors ahead of taxpayers when it came to reimbursement in the event of bankruptcy. Given these practices, it is no wonder that our current President has created budget deficits in excess of one trillion dollars each year he has been in office.
“In addition to ensuring that the federal government does not throw taxpayer dollars after bad investments, H.R. 6213 also highlights the need of the federal government to stop propping up failing companies which cannot support themselves on the open market. The federal government should not guarantee hundreds millions of dollars in taxpayer backed loans to companies who do not have a business model which supports sufficient private investment. The Administration should not pretend to be a venture capitalist with taxpayer’s money.
“In testimony before the Rules committee yesterday, Congressman Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, testified that the DOE loan guarantee programs spent $15 billion, but only created 1, 175 jobs. That means that each job created cost taxpayers $12.8 million.
“These statistics demonstrate what House Republicans have been saying for years – this country cannot tax and spend its way to prosperity. Instead, we must encourage the free enterprise system by preventing overregulation and promoting pro-growth policies designed to incentivize private investment.
“Ultimately, The No More Solyndras Act puts an end to an ineffective government program, protects taxpayers from financing the Administration’s wish list of projects, and establishes necessary oversight to hold executive branch officials accountable for their actions."