Report: Solyndra Execs Will Not Testify at Hearing

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch on green firm scandal, ties to White House


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 20, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF, "YOUR WORLD": Speaking of singing Solyndra’s praises:


JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Which is why it is so important we -- we invest in Solyndra and invest in what Solyndra is doing, not just to get us through today, but to power our way to a much brighter tomorrow.


CAVUTO: Well, maybe not.

As we know, Solyndra eventually failed, as now Senator Orrin Hatch says those same workers who just lost their jobs are going to be retrained probably at taxpayer expense for other jobs in the president’s new economy, benefits he says that go far beyond and cost far more than those other unemployed receive.

The Republican senator joins me now.

Senator, do you know this for a fact?

SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH: I’m happy to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Do we know -- Senator, thank you, sir.

But do we know that they are going to be retrained or moved to the front of the retraining line?

HATCH: Well, that’s what they’re talking about; they’re talking about giving them trade adjustment assistance, even though it was the stimulus that really didn’t work very well and of course that shows what the stimulus is.

Do you realize that Solyndra got more money with that $535 million than 35 states got for their highways, roads and bridges? When you stop and think about it, this is insane. Yet this is what the administration calls the new economy, and, well, we cannot put up with very much more of this new economy, I’ll tell you that.

CAVUTO: What do you think then if these top Solyndra executives, Senator, are going to plead the fifth? And then as our own Judge Napolitano was pointing out, top Energy Department officials will probably claim executive privilege, so, no one is going to be talking and probably a lot of fellow lawmakers are questioning. This could be a mess, right?

HATCH: Well, it just shows how these liberals work. You know, they think that they own the fount of money out of the federal government and they can put $535 million into something that literally would have probably had a better chance had it had to go out and scramble for regular investment dollars and in the process that gets blown and then they say, oh, well, this is just one of those things.

And then they not only do that, but, instead of putting these people in unemployment, like millions of others have to do, they’re going to put them on unemployment and trade adjustment assistance and give them job training, to boot, after they have blown this whole doggone thing.

It’s just typical of this administration that believes the federal government ought to be meddling into business and every other affair in our lives.

CAVUTO: Now, I don’t mean to quibble with your facts, Senator.


CAVUTO: It’s just that I have not heard others say that they are going to move to the front of the retraining line, because that would raise eyebrows. But you have it on good authority that these Solyndra workers now out of a job will indeed, get the special training right now?

HATCH: Well, what I said is that they are going to -- that the administration wants to apply trade adjustment assistance and I believe that would be on top of unemployment assistance, where millions of others only have unemployment assistance.

CAVUTO: I got you. So by that definition they would, in fact, be given preferential treatment given this situation?

HATCH: Well, I don’t know that they will, but that’s the way the administration is acting right now.


CAVUTO: And how would you feel about that? OK, then. I’m slow here, Senator. But you wouldn’t like that, obviously?


HATCH: Well, who would? My gosh, why do the taxpayers have to bail out every doggone liberal new economy green thing that comes along?

Let’s face it, these guys are nuts business wise and they think the federal government should be able to stimulate these businesses with its money. That stimulus of almost, well, with interest over $1 trillion, just didn’t work, it doesn’t work. It’s better to allow the private sector to work on pluses and minuses than have the federal government interfere, and this is a perfect illustration.


CAVUTO: Well, there are billions more, though. But, Senator, there are billions more going to other solar green enterprises. What do you think Congress should do about that money that’s being committed?

HATCH: Oh, yes.

CAVUTO: Because I believe at least the energy grants have to be spent by the end of this month.

HATCH: Well, it’s typical of the liberal philosophy. Government can do everything, government ought to do everything.


CAVUTO: Are you going to move to stop it?

HATCH: Well, I’d like to, but we don’t have a majority in the Senate. If we had a majority in the Senate, it would stop. I’ll tell you that right now.

CAVUTO: So that money is out the door and done?

HATCH: I think so. And I think -- just remember that one quote I gave you -- 35 states got less money for their highways, roads, and bridges than this one green company got to blow in the economy. Just think about that. That’s really outrageous.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator, good seeing you again. Thank you very much.

HATCH: Nice to be with you.

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