Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, D-Wa., vice-chair of the House Republican Conference, today called the subpoena of White House documents related to the Solyndra affair by a Republican-led panel a “very important” development.
“We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that were given to one company,” Rodgers told ABC News’ “Top Line,” “and we believe that it’s very important that we know how that decision was made, whether or not there was some relationship or what role the administration played or the White House played in authorizing that line of credit to a company that has now gone bankrupt.”
Rodgers sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has been investigating the Solyndra matter.
The California-based solar panel maker abruptly went bankrupt in August after receiving more than $500 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees. The company was also the poster child of President Obama’s green jobs initiative.
“These are precious taxpayer dollars. They need to be spent wisely,” Rodgers said. “And we’re trying to get to the bottom of it. And sometimes the only way we can get people to cooperate with the committee is to subpoena them rather than having them come in and cooperate, so we didn’t really have a choice to get to the bottom of it.”
Democrats and the Obama administration say the subpoena is a partisan political stunt and that there has been full and open cooperation with the committee.
Meanwhile, both parties remain at odds over how to address the nation’s jobs crisis and persistently high unemployment rate.
Rodgers blasted Obama for the impasse in Washington, calling his criticism of the House in a speech Wednesday misplaced.
“The president is the one that’s on the campaign trail. He needs to get back to D.C. and help us do the job here of getting the economy going,” Rodgers said. “The House of Representatives has taken action the last three weeks on portions of his jobs bill, issues he brought up in his jobs bill and said that we needed to take action on.”
The only problem, many of the 15 jobs-related bills passed by the House and sent to the Senate have little chance of passage.
“It’s very frustrating to us that the Senate is doing next to nothing,” Rodgers said of the Democrat-dominated chamber. “We need the Senate to get to work. We need the president to come back from the campaign trail and get to work.”
Obama is in Cannes, France, for the G-20 Summit until Friday.