Role reversal: GOP blasts Obama plan to sell TVA

WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s a political role reversal: Republicans are blasting a plan by President Barack Obama to consider selling the Tennessee Valley Authority, a New Deal-era agency long targeted by conservatives as an example of government overreach.

Obama’s budget proposal calls for a strategic review of the TVA, the nation’s largest public utility with 9 million customers in seven states from Virginia to Mississippi. Obama says selling the U.S.-owned power company could reduce the federal deficit by at least $25 billion.

GOP lawmakers in the region call it a bad idea. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee says there is no assurance that selling TVA would reduce electric bills in the Tennessee Valley.

Administration officials say sale of the utility is just one option being considered.