House Republicans pressure Obama to oppose bonuses at Solyndra

More than 50 House Republicans are pressing President Obama to oppose failed solar company Solyndra’s proposal to give bonuses to its remaining employees.

The lawmakers, in a letter Thursday, called on Obama to direct the Justice Department to oppose Solyndra’s bonus proposal in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.

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“No matter how we arrived at this moment and setting aside political disagreements concerning Solyndra, the simple fact is that American taxpayers should not be footing the bill for bonuses for employees of Solyndra,” the letter says.

Solyndra has reportedly asked a bankruptcy court to greenlight a plan to give the company’s remaining employees bonuses. The company, which filed for bankruptcy in September and laid off 1,100 workers, said the bonuses are necessary to retain current employees while the embattled solar panel maker works to attract buyers.

The GOP lawmakers say the bonuses aren't necessary to salvage what's left of the company. "[E]mployee retention has little actual bearing on the amount potentially recoverable by Solyndra's creditors, chief among them American taxpayers," the letter says.

The bonus plan has been met with intense criticism, including from Republicans who have blasted the Obama administration for approving a $535 million loan guarantee to the company in 2009.

Republicans have pummeled Obama over the bankruptcy, raising questions about the validity of the administration’s clean-energy agenda and alleging that the loan guarantee was approved for political reasons.

The White House strongly denies those allegations, and a months-long House GOP investigation has not uncovered evidence of political favoritism.

Solyndra employees who were laid off shortly before the company filed for bankruptcy objected to the bonus plan this week, according to Reuters.