Sen. Landrieu Reads Darrell Issa’s Letters Begging For Taxpayer Clean Energy Loans On The Senate Floor

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) investigation of clean energy loan programs was undercut this week by a revelation, first reported by Bloomberg, that he had also requested money from the same program for companies in his district. A follow-up story by ThinkProgress found that an investor to the firm Issa had asked to subsidize had donated several times to Issa, including a check just shortly before Issa sent his letter to Secretary Chu.

Today on the Senate floor, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) mocked Issa’s hypocrisy. She carried with her copies of the letters signed by Issa, as well as other letters by Republicans asking for money for the clean energy program they had just voted to cut, and read them into the Congressional Record:

LANDRIEU: He’s a member from California, he’s a very powerful member of the House. I’m going to read his whole letter. […] And maybe the press even writes, ‘Darrell Issa, the Republican leader, is promoting manufacturing in California.’ Because this is what he says in his district. And this is the letter he sends to the Secretary. But when he’s in the floor of the House last night, he voted to gut this program. That’s what this debate is about!

Watch it:

Earlier this week, Republicans tried to make hay out of the Solyndra controversy by taking an axe to clean energy programs. Landrieu made short work out of the GOP’s shameful gimmick.

Landrieu continued tearing into Republican hypocrisy. She noted that the cuts were purely political because the supposed offsets for FEMA only required $175 million, not $1 billion. She then continued to read Republican letters asking for clean energy loan cash, including yet another one signed by Issa (asking for money for battery-maker Quallion LLC):

LANDRIEU: I’m going to do this all week, so I hope the press gets ready to ask these Republican leaders how could you possibly have the gall to hold press opportunities in your district promising people that you’re helping them to create jobs and then come back to Washington and cut the rug out from under their feet with a bogus excuse that you have to come up with a billion dollars […] when the real need for FEMA in 2011 is $175 million. But under the guise of having to provide a billion dollars, they want to gut this program that’s creating jobs and they themselves have asked for these loans to be made in their district. […]

Several members, and I am going to submit their names to the record […] In addition — this is the killer, this is the killer — in addition Quallion think that this funding will create more than two thousand three hundred new and long-term jobs nationwide. And this is the program that Representative Cantor decided to use as an offset so he could fool the American people.

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