The debate over the future of the Export-Import Bank can be difficult to follow, in part because proponents of the Bank are often in conflict with one another. Here are the latest examples:
Does Export-Import Bank provide cheap loans?
Tony Fratto, Hamilton Place Strategies: All of you that have been writing that Ex-Im makes cheap loans — they actually make expensive loans. (AEI Debate, July 24, 2014)
Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH): By allowing American companies, mostly very large ones, to finance the products they want to sell to a foreign company or government at a reduced rate, the Ex-Im Bank in fact represents an American commercial threat to foreign companies. (The Hill, July 28, 2014)
Does the Export-Import Bank create job?
The influx of unaccompanied minors along the southwest border, mostly entering from Central America, is in large part the result of the Obama Administration’s selective enforcement of immigration law. If congressional action is to be more than a face-saving political gesture, it must address the President’s the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“DACA must go,” explains the Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano:
Yesterday, in a speech at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center, House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Paul RyanHouse Republican Average61%
expressed his desire to end the Export-Import Bank
, which expires at the end of September. Ryan’s primary point though was that conservatives and Republicans should let Democrats be the party of corporate welfare and cronyism
“My friend Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Jeb HensarlingHouse Republican Average88% has recently launched a great challenge against the crony capitalist economy, and in particular, against one of its manifestations, the Export-Import Bank. But the bank is just one example of how bureaucratic government is corrupting free enterprise through and through. Conservatives must stop defending this. Cronyism is the Progressives’ project for economic control. Let them defend it.”
This morning’s WSJ editorial
on yesterday’s highway and transit bailout (see the scorecard
) is a must read. After slamming the bill as “a tribute to budget gimmicks” that “does nothing to address the revenue-spending mismatch that is today’s highway fund,” the editorial offered up some serious GOP accountability:
Republicans over the years have proposed a number of innovative reforms to a federal highway program that bristles with waste and bureaucracy. These include devolving more power to the states to set priorities, slashing the billions thrown at money-losing urban mass-transit projects, streamlining environmental laws that add to construction costs, and potentially devoting some royalties from expanded federal oil and gas drilling to fund roads. Too bad they never seem to get around to implementing them.
House GOP leaders are claiming the temporary nature of this patch is designed to give them another run at reform next year, perhaps with the support of a Republican-led Senate. We’ll hold them to that. The trust fund problem has been begging for a fix for years. This latest stopgap is a dodge, not a victory.
In a letter to the editor in the Spokesman-Review,
Edmund Schweitzer III writes:
“Some Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories customers have used the Ex-Im Bank for financing, at their choosing. SEL does not depend on it, nor encourage it. If the Ex-Im Bank were to disappear, I believe buyers and sellers would find attractive commercial options unencumbered by politics and special interests.”
Mr. Schweitzer’s position is clear: Thus, at this moment, I believe the charter should not be renewed.
Ironically, a Spokesman-Review editorial in 2012 cited his company as a reason the Bank should be reauthorized:
“Although Boeing Co. is by far the biggest beneficiary, in the last five years several Eastern Washington companies – SCAFCO in Spokane, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman, and Colmac Coil in Colville – have done more than $3 million worth of foreign business with Ex-Im’s help. Dozens, if not hundreds, of jobs have been created or sustained.”
The fifth district company, represented by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Cathy McMorris RodgersHouse Republican Average51%, has received $3.6 million in financial assistance from the Bank since 2007, with $1.6 million coming since 2012.
Congress should End Ex-Im.