On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted along party lines to subpoena White House documents on Solyndra, the solar company that went under after receiving a $535 million federal loan guarantee.
It's not out of the ordinary for Congress to subpoena documents. There were several attempts during the Bush administration to get a hold of documents related to controversial environmental decisions, but the administration blew them off. This subpoena, however, comes despite the fact that the Obama White House has already provided 85,000 pages of documents, and has been attempting to work with the committee.
As you can imagine, Democrats on the committee aren't as enthused about this matter as House Republicans. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the committee, issued this statement Thursday morning that speaks pretty well to the situation. The rest is below the fold:
In my 35 years in Congress, I have presided over the issuance of only one subpoena in the time I served as a Committee Chairman. It, too, concerned an environmental policy matter that began during the Bush Administration. But unlike this subpoena for every single internal White House email related to Solyndra, the one I issued was issued on a bipartisan basis, with my Ranking Republican Member, Jim Sensenbrenner, fully supporting my efforts to learn more about the Bush Administration’s response to global warming.