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House panel approves subpoena on Solyndra loan

November 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A House panel led by Republicans voted to subpoena the White House for documents related to Solyndra Inc., a California solar company that failed after getting a half-billion-dollar federal loan.

The House Energy subcommittee voted 14-9 along party lines on Thursday to subpoena top White House officials.

Republican lawmakers say the White House has denied or delayed requests for thousands of documents related to Solyndra.

A White House spokesman said it has provided tens of thousands of pages of documents and called the subpoenas unprecedented and unwarranted.

The solar energy company is under investigation over a $528 million government loan it received in 2009 before going bankrupt this year and laying off 1,100 workers.

Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said getting White House documents on Solyndra was like "extracting a tooth without anesthesia" -- painful and time-consuming.

"I wish it had not come to this, but it has," Upton said.

It was the second time in two days that a House panel authorized a subpoena of administration documents. On Wednesday, a House Judiciary subcommittee authorized its chairman to subpoena Department of Homeland Security documents on deportations of illegal immigrations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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