The ‘No More Solyndras Act’ Charade

Last week, the House passed the “No More Solyndras Act” on a mostly party-line vote. However, instead of terminating the Department of Energy loan guarantee program that subsidized Solyndra and other boondoggles, the bill allows applicants who filed before the first of this year to still receive handouts.

The DOE will still have $34 billion in remaining lending authority to issue new loan guarantees. And as Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) explains, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for taxpayers to get fleeced again:

It was recently revealed that approximately 50 applications sit active in the queue. The projects include an $8.3 billion loan guarantee for nuclear reactor project in Georgia and a nearly $2 billion loan guarantee for a liquid coal facility in Wyoming. There’s a $1.7 billion loan guarantee for a coal gasification plant in Indiana plus more than 15 solar projects in the pipeline!

Some of these applicants are clear losers for taxpayers. This bill would allow a $2 billion loan guarantee for a uranium enrichment project to remain on deck, ready to receive a loan guarantee despite the fact that the company has received a delisting notice from the New York Stock Exchange. Talk about taxpayers striking out, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) is currently in line to receive a loan guarantee for its enrichment facility in Piketon, OH. On the other hand USEC hit a home run with a $100 million giveaway in the continuing resolution.

What’s really disgraceful is that an amendment from Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) that would have completely terminated the loan guarantees wasn’t even allowed to be debated and voted on. According to TCS, the House Rules Committee “sidelined” McClintock’s amendment. Why? Because the Republican leadership was apparently only interested in using the bill to score political points against the administration. Having a bunch of its own members argue and vote against completely killing the notorious corporate welfare program (again) would have been an embarrassment.

As Rep. McClintock said on the House floor, the bill should be renamed “The 50 More Solyndras and Then We’ll Stop Wasting Your Money — Really — We Promise Act.”