Rep. Woolsey: We Need to Invest More

Democratic congresswoman on doling out $9B in 'green' loans, Solyndra scandal


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 23, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: And the spending hits just keep on coming, though, because despite the Solyndra mess, the administration is still trying to push out these aforementioned $9 billion in loan guarantees to scores of green companies. That’s by Friday’s deadline.

And Democratic Congressman Lynn Woolsey says there is good reason for that, that by and large these are good endeavors and are well worth the effort.

Congresswoman, though you are aware probably better than anyone what has been happening. And what is wrong with just slowing this train down?

REP. LYNN WOOLSEY, D-CALIF.: Well, we don’t have to paint every high-tech, green tech, green jobs company with the mistake that was made with Solyndra. For heaven’s sakes, if we are going to have a big, bold jobs plan in this country, we have to embrace high-tech and green tech technology.

CAVUTO: Yes, who -- do you know who you are embracing, Congresswoman, right?

WOOLSEY: Well, the vetting must have been poor, to say the least.

And it is so disappointing that we are not going to get the jobs that we were counting on from this investment in Solyndra. But we shouldn’t be assuming that the rest of the green technology and the rest of the green jobs in this country...


CAVUTO: It is a fair point, but are we making sure they’re not? Are we doing our due diligence here? WOOLSEY: Well, on -- this one example would make people think not nearly enough.

But I’m sure that this not the only example of good or bad in the federal government going all the way back many presidents ago. We continue to learn. And this is a huge disappointment, because we want a jobs bill. And that jobs bill has to have green technology.

CAVUTO: No doubt. Congresswoman, you are quite right. Republicans and Democrats know how to waste money; you are quite right about that.


CAVUTO: Here is my concern, Congresswoman, that when you are in a rush to spend money, it was like that old game show. Remember, they had, two people would be competing with grocery carts to pile stuff into their...


WOOLSEY: Yes. Yes. No, how awful.

CAVUTO: Well, I loved that show, actually.


CAVUTO: I always would try to fill it with the expensive stuff.

But my point is that when you are in a rush to spend money, you are kind of derelict in checking what you are spending it on, just the rush to get the money spent because you have to by a set date. And that is what we are doing here. And I’m wondering if we are going to have Solyndras and future Solyndras because we are in such a rush to get this cash out.

WOOLSEY: Well, we have to get the cash out and we need to have a jobs bill. And it is going to take an investment from the federal government.


CAVUTO: I understand that. You and I can quibble about that. But the rush to repeat a mistake potentially should offset the rush to get money out, right?

WOOLSEY: Yes, but -- but we need to learn from the experience.

CAVUTO: Are we, though? Do you think we are?

WOOLSEY: And if we did not vet this enough -- yes, I do. I believe we will learn.

CAVUTO: How do you know, though?


CAVUTO: I know you hope that’s not the case, but are there a bunch of accountants in a room saying, whoa, whoa, whoa, this company is stating false profits or this company is not all that it says it is? Are we -- are a bunch more accountants in a room saying go slow?

WOOLSEY: Hey, how much of that did we do when we were bailing out the banks and the investment companies?

CAVUTO: Fair. I’m not talking about the past. I’m talking about now. I’m criticized those bailouts of the banks under President Bush. I’m criticizing this now.

What are we doing to stop this nonsense?

WOOLSEY: There was a hearing today. And the hearing, I heard, wasn’t as productive as it should have been, but we do need to vet these companies before we give them the money.


CAVUTO: You don’t know for sure whether we are?

WOOLSEY: Well, I know they are vetting the companies, but we have to learn from whether or not that Solyndra was thorough enough.

But that does not mean that we cannot invest in high-tech companies, in green technology, in the environment in the United States of America, because you see that is the industry of the future. We give it away to China, we let the Indians take it, then we are sitting here without an industry that will be the future of our country.

CAVUTO: Congresswoman, thank you very much. Good having you.

WOOLSEY: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.

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