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Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of this legislation. I first want to commend Chairman Upton and especially my longtime friend, Chairman Stearns, for bringing this important legislation to the floor this morning.
Mr. Chairman, I have read and heard for many years that almost 80 percent of small businesses fail within the first 5 years. Thousands of small businesses, many thousands, have failed over the last 10 or 20 years. Many of those would have made it if government had given them $100,000. Most of them would have succeeded or survived if the government had given them $1 million.
The government gave Solyndra $535 million, over half a billion dollars, and yet, they squandered it and failed, as we've heard today, in about 2 years. What a ridiculous scandal this is. And I'm grateful to Chairman Stearns for shedding so much light on this. And yet, unfortunately, it's only the tip of a very big iceberg.
Our friends on the other side frequently attack the oil industry on their subsidies; yet no industry in this Nation has received nearly as many subsidies, loans, or tax breaks as has the solar energy over the years. And yet the solar energy provides, even after all of these massive subsidies and loans and tax breaks, a little less than one percent of our total energy.
The government should not be picking winners and losers. I have nothing against solar energy if it can stand on its own feet, but it certainly cannot do so at this time. And so I rise in strong support for this legislation.
But I rise mainly to commend Chairman Stearns, with whom I've served for so many years. Unfortunately, he will not be returning in the next Congress, and I think this is a tremendous loss for this Nation. I've worked with him on many things. I have not seen any Member or known any Member of this Congress who has been more conscientious, who has worked harder, and who has tried to study legislation any more than he has. And I want to especially commend him.
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