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No More Solyndras Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DINGELL. I thank the gentleman.

I rise, first, to salute the gentleman from Florida and to express to him my affection and respect and good wishes as he leaves the Congress, and also to my good friend, the chairman of the committee, Mr. Upton.

I would observe, however, if anybody were to put a monument like this to me, I would bend this cane of mine over his head. This is perhaps one of the sorriest things I have seen done. It is like the mule: it has neither pride of parentage nor hope of posterity. It isn't going anywhere. It accomplishes precisely nothing. It has a series of findings which are totally unrelated to facts and don't mean anything and don't help us with the problems before us. It is a piece of legislation which was adopted by this Congress with the full support of all of my Republican friends over there who are now shying away from their parentage of the basic legislation.

I say to my Luddite friends: This is not going to accomplish anything. I would point out to you it isn't going to pass the Senate. It isn't going to be signed by the President. It doesn't address any of the problems that are before us. It grandfathers everybody in and says there will be nothing new.

But what does it really do? It hurts our efforts to see to it that we are able to remain competitive in high-tech, new energy undertakings, which are the hope and the future of this country. That's what it does. That's why, if I were on that side of the aisle, I would have a red face.

And I would point out that this proposal was backed by my Republican friends, led by Mr. Barton, supported by my dear friend, Mr. Upton, and all of my good Republican friends. All of a sudden they find that Solyndra has lost money and has gone bankrupt. Why? Because the Chinese knocked the bottom out of the market for solar panels. Why? A governmental economy has killed another American industry.

The future of this country is to compete in high-tech jobs in the new kind of undertakings where we can whip the world. But there is a major capital problem for those companies, and they will not prosper and this country will not prosper unless we provide mechanisms to see to it that they can do the things they did.

The Oversight and Investigations Committee has had no end of hearings on it and has thrown subpoenas around like popcorn at a circus, but they haven't found anything. And the committee has brought forward this miserable, hopeless piece of legislation in the expectation that it's going to do something, and that something is, of course, to try to help my Republicans with their election campaign.

Now, this is a laudable thing if you're a Republican. But if you're an American, this is not helping our country and this is not benefiting anybody. What the result of this legislation is is more wasted time on the floor of the House.

What my Republican colleagues won't admit to you is this is the sorriest session of the Congress in history. I think it outranks the do-nothing 80th Congress, and that was a session where we accomplished precisely nothing in this great body.

I would observe to my dear friends that if you want to do something, let's get down to dealing with jobs. Let's get down to dealing with the economy. Let's work to see to it that we address our foreign policy questions and the problems that the United States faces. Let's complete a budget. Not a thing of that is done. I heard that this particular session of this Congress has done 60 bills. When I walk over, I always ask my staff, ``Which post offices are we naming today?'' That's what we have done.

If you're looking for a record of accomplishment, look in the Senate, which is the cave in the winds which usually does very little. But they are putting us to shame because they are, in fact, legislating while we are over here dithering around with a nonsensical piece of legislation that accomplishes nothing except to try to vindicate a failed investigation where subpoenas were thrown around like rice at a wedding.

I say it is time for us to buckle down if we're going to go on here with some pride in our faces and with our heads held up. Let's go out on a piece of legislation that accomplishes something. This accomplishes nothing except to make a few people who couldn't do their job feel good.

So my counsel to the House is: Let's vote this nonsense down. Let's decide that we're going to do something right around here for a change, even though it's late in the session.

Mr. Chairman, why are we spending time on this deplorable piece of legislation when we should be doing the work of the people? We should be passing bipartisan legislation to continue our economic recovery and create jobs for the unemployed. This is no more than a sorry attempt to stick it in the eye of our president when really what we are doing is sticking it to the American worker.

For this entire Congress, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee has piddled unsuccessfully, call it an investigation of the Solyndra loan. As members of this body know, I am a strong proponent of fighting government waste and corruption through vigorous oversight regardless of what Administration is in charge. However, time and time again, this investigation refused to focus on the issues at hand and instead engaged in a political witch hunt in an attempt to embarrass this Administration. A witch hunt is not what this country needs; what we need are investments in innovative technologies and sources of energy so America does not fall further behind countries such as China, Korea, Germany, and others who are subsidizing innovative energy technology. We must take charge in innovation and this investigation and the bill before us fails to do either.

The end result of this investigation is a bill that does nothing more than to stifle innovation, prevent job creation, and subverts a program that was created through bipartisan legislation and signed into law by a Republican president. We have underinvested in energy for decades and commercial deployment, with U.S. investments, will actually make our companies more competitive in the global market. By freezing this loan program, Republicans will only stifle another opportunity to put our economy back on the right path and create new jobs.

I, along with all of the chairmen of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Speaker, and the Majority Leader worked in a bipartisan way in 2005 to create this loan program that would invest in our economy and our workforce. The legislation and the loan program were then signed into law by a Republican president. The investigation uncovered no undue political influence from the White House. What has changed the mind of the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and Republican leadership to undo that bipartisan cooperation?

We cannot simply be the House of ``no.'' We can and we must do better for the sake of our country. I must ask my Republican colleagues, is your priority this Congress to build partisan talking points or build a stronger American economy that can compete in the global economy of the 21st century? I hope it is the latter because I know I was elected to do the work of the people and I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will start doing the same.


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