Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on CSPAN Tuesday that he plans to investigate government loan programs following allegations of improper dealings between the White House and failed energy company Solyndra, as well as accusations that officials pressured an Air Force general into favorable testimony regarding a tech startup called LightSquared (The blaze has covered that aspect here):
Issa's committee is looking into the Department of Energy's loan guarantee to Solyndra after the solar panel manufacturer recently laid off 1,100 workers and filed for bankruptcy despite receiving a $535 million government loan guarantee.
The Hill reports that Issa is investigating whether it was improper for members of Congress or White House staff to select companies eligible for subsidized government loans when those companies could give campaign donations. Along with Solyndra, controversy has surround wireless startup LightSquared and its relationship with the White House and DNC:
"Republicans have also charged that the White House pressured an Air Force general to revise testimony before a closed congressional hearing to aid LightSquared, a wireless startup company. E-mails between the company and the White House make mention of the fact that the company's CEO would be attending Democratic fundraisers in Washington, and administration officials met with executives from the company on the same day CEO Sanjiv Ahuja wrote a $30,400 check to the Democratic National Committee."
The Daily Beast's Eli Lake spoke with a second government official who confirmed that a representative from the White House's Office of Management and Budget tried to influence his testimony concerning a wireless broadband project backed by Democratic donor Phillip Falcone, which military officials fear might impair sensitive satellite navigation systems. That project being LightSquared.
Still, in an interview yesterday with Megyn Kelly, Falcone denied any wrongdoing and said he's donated to Republicans as well as Democrats and is actually a registered Republican:
"I want to see that when the president and his cronies are picking winners and losers, in the private market in this case in the solar panel matter, it wasn't because there were large contributions given to them," the California Republican told CSPAN.
In addition to the investigation of government loan guarantees, Issa discussed the fallout from the ATF's "Fast & Furious" program and legislation relating to the U.S. Postal Service, and even answered interviewer Greta Brawner's questions about investigation the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal: