House Energy and Commerce ranking member Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) slammed Republicans for taking the extreme step of issuing subpoenas to the White House for all communication related to the solar company Solyndra. At the committee’s business meeting, Waxman noted that the Republican chairs, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL), rejected offers from the White House Counsel to offer all communications related to specific accusations lobbed by critics of the Department of Energy loan guarantee to the bankrupt solar company. “Our focus should be jobs,” he said:
Apparently what the committee really wants is a confrontation with the president, not information for the investigation. No wonder the public holds this Congress in such low regard. Our focus should be jobs. Our attention should be on rebuilding our economy, not manufacturing controversies with our president.
Waxman also criticized the extraordinary decision to subpoena the White House, something he never did as chair of either the House oversight committee or energy committee during the Reagan and Bush presidencies. With the House in Republican hands, public approval of Congress has plummeted to 9 percent.