The Hill reports:
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted Thursday to subpoena the White House for all internal communications related to the failed solar company Solyndra.
The subpoena escalates the ongoing battle between the White House and Republicans over a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee to Solyndra, the California solar panel maker that filed for bankruptcy in early September, setting off a firestorm in Washington.
Republicans have pummeled the White House over the loan guarantee for weeks, using Solyndra’s bankruptcy to challenge the administration’s green-energy agenda.
The committee’s investigative panel voted 14-9, along party lines, to subpoena the internal communications a day after the White House offered to provide documents if Republicans narrowed their request. Every Republican on the panel voted in favor of the subpoena and every Democrat voted against it.
Indeed, the White House attempted to avoid the subpoena, claiming that the Obama administration has already “cooperated extensively” with the committee’s requests, and arguing that the committee’s request was too broad. But Republicans begged to differ. The White House had previous rejected two requests to hand over all internal communications relating to the $535 million loan-guarantee awarded to the failed solar company. Democrats on the panel, meanwhile, had tried to delay the subpoena vote until Nov. 15 in order to give the two sides more time to reach an agreement.
“I regret that we have reached this point,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “At this point in time, I am not confident that we will have a good faith response from the White House without issuing a subpoena.”
UPDATE: Unreal. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) equates Republicans who voted for the subpoena to the “birther” movement:
Schakowsky was among a parade of Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats who slammed the subpoena vote Thursday, calling it a political attack that ignores White House efforts to work with the committee on its request for documents.
“I doubt that anything the White House would have agreed to yesterday would have been sufficient. This is a majority that won’t take yes for an answer,” Schakowsky said Thursday ahead of the committee vote.
“And while you are at it why don’t you ask for more documents relating to the place of his birth, or as some members want, his school grades, and why not from kindergarten through law school,” she added.