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September 23, 2011

Democrats Threaten To Hold Up Disaster Relief And Shutdown Government To Protect Green Energy Boondoggles

That's not exactly how the MSM will spin the House passed Continuing Resolution but it's just as valid a frame.

The 219-203 vote sets up a confrontation with the Senate, where Democratic leaders have vowed to block the measure in a dispute over federal disaster aid.

For Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the vote was little more than a mulligan. After 48 Republicans opposed his bill on Wednesday, he faced a choice: Scrap a spending cut to win over Democrats who had pulled their support for the bill, or persuade dissenting conservatives that the original bill was the best deal they could get.

Boehner chose his right flank, adding a sweetener in the form of a $100 million rescission to the loan guarantee program that funded the bankrupt energy company Solyndra.

The actual amount is a pittance when you consider that Solyndra alone got over $500 million in loan guarantees. Still, by including to this provision it forces the media to cover Solyndra and that's a plus.

Last night's vote came a day after the House rejected the GOP's original spending plan.

Following a lengthy closed-door meeting, House Republicans emerged with a strategy to keep intact the continuing resolution the House defeated on Wednesday by adding a $100 million offset targeting the government program involved in the loan guarantees awarded to the failed energy company Solyndra, the solar-energy firm backed by more than $500 million in government loan guarantees and previously supported by President Obama. The company has since declared bankruptcy and is the focus of a federal investigation.

The inclusion of the Solyndra language sent a clear message that Republicans seek to pass the CR with Republican votes, instead of softening the original bill to get House Democrats on board. Some 48 Republicans voted against the CR on Wednesday, and all but six Democrats voted against it. House Republicans largely voted against the bill because the overall $1.043 trillion CR price tag exceeded Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., blueprint passed by the House early this year. But House GOP leadership aides were confident those conservatives would be mollified with the inclusion of the Solyndra language. A vote was on track for Thursday evening.

The move is politically motivated since the Energy Department program through which Solyndra received a loan guarantee is going to expire Sept. 30. Under the Recovery Act that Obama signed in February 2009, Congress created the program and gave it a sunset date of Sept. 30, since the the program was aimed at short-term economic recovery.

But again, it's a timely reminder to voters that while Obama is crossing the country holding political rallies that are thinly disguised as a legitimate effort to promote his tax and "jobs" plans, his track record with this stuff is woeful.

My question is, why didn't Boehner do this the first time? Boehner seems to need an awful lot of mulligans. Remember when he had to pull the debt deal bill and postpone the vote? Maybe he needs to start leading with his Plan B from now on.

Is this whole thing less than ideal? Of course but everything is going to be less than ideal when you have deal with a Democratic Senate that simply refuses to pass a budget framework and a leftist in the White House. We're simply not going to get fiscally sound polices in the current environment. The only solution to this is get them the hell out of there.

Now the House has dropped this in the Senate's lap. Do they want to shut the government down and withhold disaster aid they say is desperately needed or do they want to protect green energy companies?


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posted by DrewM. at 08:21 AM

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