For Democrats, Politics Can’t Wait But the Economy Can

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is a political committee devoted to maintaining and increasing the 239-member Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

New Solyndra e-mails released this morning continue to suggest the Obama administration is more concerned with the political impact of their policy failures than growing the economy:

“E-MAILS SUGGEST DOE PUT POLITICS ABOVE ECONOMICS WITH SOLYNDRA’”: “In another e-mail released by House Republicans on Wednesday, the former head of the Energy Department's loan program was described as putting politics above economics in considering a $535 million loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra.” (Amy Harder, “QUICK TAKE: “E-mails Suggest DOE Put Politics Above Economics with Solyndra,” National Journal, 11/16/2011)

SOLYNDRA INVESTOR: OBAMA’S “DOE REALLY THINKS POLITICALLY BEFORE IT THINKS ECONOMICALLY”: “ ‘The DOE really thinks politically before it thinks economically and in a conversation today with [name redacted] he confirmed this (he knows Jonathan Silver – head of the DOE loan program,’ states a Dec. 7, 2010, e-mail from Steve Mitchell, managing director of venture-capital firm Argonaut and a member of Solyndra’s board of directors, to George Kaiser, an Oklahoma oil billionaire who bundled campaign donations for presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Kaiser founded Argonaut, which is the major investor in Solyndra.” (Amy Harder, “QUICK TAKE: “E-mails Suggest DOE Put Politics Above Economics with Solyndra,” National Journal, 11/16/2011)

WHEN OBAMA’S DOE HEARD ABOUT SOLYNDRA LAYOFFS, THEY URGED A DELAY OF THE LAYOFF ANNOUNCEMENT UNTIL THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION: “But in an Oct. 30, 2010 e-mail, advisers to Solyndra’s primary investor, Argonaut Equity, explain that the Energy Department had strongly urged the company to put off the layoff announcement until Nov. 3. The midterm elections were held Nov. 2, and led to Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives.” (Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens, “Solyndra: Department of Energy ‘Pushed Hard’ for Company Not to Announce Layoffs Until after 2010 Mid-Term Elections,” The Washington Post, 11/15/2011)

DOE PRESSURE CAME AS SOLYNDRA WAS STILL DEPENDENT ON DOE FUNDING FOR THE SUBSEQUENT MONTH: “ ‘DOE continues to be cooperative and have indicated that they will fund the November draw on our loan (app. $40 million) but have not committed to December yet,’ a Solyndra investor adviser wrote Oct. 30. ‘They did push very hard for us to hold our announcement of the consolidation to employees and vendors to Nov. 3rd – oddly they didn‘t give a reason for that date.’” (Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens, “Solyndra: Department of Energy ‘Pushed Hard’ for Company Not to Announce Layoffs Until after 2010 Mid-Term Elections,” The Washington Post, 11/15/2011)

SURE ENOUGH, SOLYNDRA BUMPED ITS LAYOFF ANNOUNCEMENT TO NOV. 3, DAY AFTER ELECTION: (Carol Leonnig and Joe Stephens, “Solyndra: Department of Energy ‘Pushed Hard’ for Company Not to Announce Layoffs Until after 2010 Mid-Term Elections,” The Washington Post, 11/15/2011)

IRONIC: WHITE HOUSE ENGAGING IN PARTISAN POLITICS ON SOLYNDRA RECENTLY DISMISSED SOLYNDRA SUBPOENA AS JUST “PARTISAN POLITICS”: “ ‘I can only conclude that your decision to issue a subpoena, authorized by a party line vote, was driven more by partisan politics than than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation,’ Ruemmler wrote.” (David Jackson, “Obama Lawyer: GOP Solyndra Request is Politics,” USA Today, 11/4/2011)

This obsession with the next campaign is something of a habit for the Obama administration. Just this week, President Obama delayed making a decision to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 elections, presumably to avoid a confrontation with Democrats’ green activist base:

“OBAMA PUNTS KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE” UNTIL AFTER 2012 ELECTION: (Dan Berman and Darren Goode, “Obama Punts Keystone XL Pipeline,” Politico, 11/10/2011)

GREEN GROUPS HAD THREATENED TO ABANDON OBAMA IF HE APPROVED THE PROJECT: “Environmental groups have been protesting the pipeline that would run from Alberta oil sands to Texas refineries, and there have been rumblings that greens would abandon Obama next fall if he approved it.” (Dan Berman and Darren Goode, “Obama Punts Keystone XL Pipeline,” Politico, 11/10/2011)

PROJECT HAD BROAD SUPPORT FROM UNIONS: “The pipeline has the support of many Republicans in Congress and also major labor unions like the Teamsters, Laborers’ International Union of North America and segments of the AFL-CIO.” (Dan Berman and Darren Goode, “Obama Punts Keystone XL Pipeline,” Politico, 11/10/2011)

BY CONTRAST, OBAMA SAYS “WE CAN’T WAIT” FOR STIMULUS 2.0: “President Obama's growing impatience with Congress' refusal to ‘pass this bill now’ has launched a new approach -- bypassing Congress by taking actions that don't require congressional support and insisting that ‘We Can't Wait’ for any more delays on Capitol Hill.” (“President Begins ‘We Can’t Wait’ Economic Push,” Fox News, 10/24/2011)

Democrats repeatedly design policies with election deadlines in mind. Many of the major provisions of the government takeover of healthcare won’t take hold until after the 2012 elections. The tax hikes that Democrats have called for also would not take effect until after the 2012 election:

OBAMA SAYS HIS TAX HIKES WON’T TAKE PLACE UNTIL 2013, AFTER HE’S RE-ELECTED: “So when you hear folks saying, well, the President shouldn’t want massive, job-killing tax hikes when the economy is this week – nobody is looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years.” (“Press Conference by the President,” The White House, 7/11/2011)

DURING DEBT CEILING DEBATE, TREASURY SECRETARY TIM GEITHNER SAID IT WAS IMPORTANT TO PASS DEBT CEILING INCREASE TO GET DEMS “THROUGH THE ELECTION”: “We have to take that threat off the table through the election.” (Chris Wallace, “Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Speaker of the House John Boehner Talk Debt Ceiling Deadline,” Fox News, 6/24/2011)

WAIVERS FOR GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE TAKEOVER TAKEOVER LAST THROUGH 2013, END IN 2014: “Instead of approving a new batch of year-long waivers every month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that plans have until Sept. 22 to apply for a waiver that will carry through 2013. Starting in 2014, all plans will have to comply with the provisions of the law and the waivers will be moot.” (Julian Pecquet and Sam Baker, “Obama Administration to End Monthly Healthcare Law Waivers,” The Hill, 6/17/2011)

HEALTHCARE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE GOES INTO EFFECT IN 2014: (Jerry Markon, “Appeals Court Upholds Healthcare Law’s Individual Mandate,” The Washington Post, 7/10/2011)

 

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