The first Congressional hearing on the controversial $535 million loan guarantee given to a California solar power company took an interesting turn when Obama Administration officials offered a new defense, in essence pointing a finger at the Bush Administration.
"My understanding is that Solyndra applied for this loan in 2006 when Bush was President," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).
"That's right," said Jonathan Silver of the Energy Department, who spent a long day at the witness table, arguing that the groundwork for the Solyndra loan was vetted before President Obama took office.
"All this took place during the Bush Administration," said Waxman.
That line of defense infuriated Republicans on a House Committee, as they blasted a pair of Obama Administration officials and argued that officials in the Bush Administration rejected the Solyndra application - but Silver said nothing was rejected.
The Department of Energy "did not reject the loan, but remanded it back for further analysis," said Silver, who repeatedly parried assertions that the move was really a rejection of the loan guarantee plan.
But Republicans weren't buying that line, arguing the Obama White House rushed to approve the plan for public relations gain, ignoring any signs that maybe Solyndra didn't have a real business plan.
"The review process took a back seat to the need to set up a photo-op for the Vice President and other Administration officials," said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who repeatedly pressed for more answers.
"Should someone be fired?" Stearns asked.
"I'm saying we are doing the best job we know how to do," Silver replied, not giving an inch to Republicans, who ran him up and down the flagpole for hours.
GOP lawmakers blasted Silver over why the feds did not figure out sooner that Solyndra was in such deep financial trouble that it would lead to bankruptcy.
"Why did the FBI raid Solyndra? Stearns asked.
"I have no idea, sir," said Silver, who said the FBI's involvement was a surprise.
What's next in this? Republicans say they're not going to back off the probe to see what happened with this loan guarantee, and how much money the feds might lose.
Next week, Solyndra executives are scheduled to testify, which could add a new element to this investigation.