GOP attacks idea to privatize TVA

In a move that turns the conventional wisdom on its head, Republican lawmakers are attacking the idea, suggested in President Obama’s FY2014 budget, to privatize the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Associated Press reports.

“It’s one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas,” Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said, according to the AP. Other Republicans from the Southeast region covered by the TVA spoke up against selling the entity, which, they argued, could result in higher electricity bills for their constituents.

The GOP position against privatizing the TVA comes after nearly a century in which the storied utility was a favorite target of Republicans seeking to shrink the size of government. President Dwight Eisenhower called the TVA “creeping socialism” and President Reagan called it another example of “big government,” leading most observers to assume that a plan to sell the entity would come from a GOP in the White House, not a second-term Democrat, the AP reports.

According to the Obama budget, selling the TVA, which serves 9 million customers in seven states, could reduce the federal deficit by at least $25 billion.

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