White House officials said Friday that Chief of Staff William M. Daley ordered the review, which will evaluate the entire $35.9 billion loan portfolio made to support the private-sector development of new technologies that could help improve the economy and create jobs. The review is a tacit acknowledgment that the loan program, defended by President Obama and his senior advisers for weeks, has raised enough internal concern that an outside assessment is necessary to clear the air and determine its future. The announcement came as congressional Republicans threatened to subpoena White House records relating to the Solyndra case if the administration does not produce requested documents.
Daley named Herbert M. Allison Jr., a former assistant Treasury secretary, to head what will be a 60-day review. Allison is charged with assessing the health of the existing portfolio and making recommendations for how to better ensure the security of future loans, including ways to identify potential problems with recipient companies earlier than the government did in the case of Solyndra.
“The president is committed to investing in clean energy because he understands that the jobs developing and manufacturing these technologies will either be created here or in other countries,” Daley said in a statement. “And while we continue to take steps to make sure the United States remains competitive in the 21st century energy economy, we must also ensure that we are strong stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
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