Last night, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) 84% asked for a recorded vote on H.R. 2548, the Electrify Africa Act of 2014. McClintock’s concern stems from a provision “quietly tucked into this bill” that would reauthorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for three years.
This year, conservatives are building momentum to tackle and combat cronyism. Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham penned a Fox News op-ed that puts the fight against cronyism at the center of the conservative movement’s agenda. “Conservatives must put forward an anti-cronyism, anti-corporate welfare agenda that uplifts all Americans, not just the elites,” he argued.
So what is cronyism and how does it affect us? If you’re not one of the cronies, you have reason to be concerned.
Today, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% spoke at the Heritage Foundation about America’s crises of economic immobility and insecurity, and he offered some specific prescriptions on how to change this, not the least among them ending the Export-Import Bank.
At the heart of the change, he suggested, needs to be ending cronyism and corporatism, by which “elite special interests” get bailed out and subsidized while the rest of America has to play by the rules.
The charter for the Export-Import Bank will expire at the end of September, and a bipartisan coalition is already advocating for reauthorization. If not reauthorized, the Bank will be unable to offer new financing, effectively grinding it to a halt and preventing it from distributing subsidies to new constituencies.
Congress had the opportunity to end what has been called a “publicly subsidized piggy bank for large corporations” less than two years ago. Instead, Congress passed legislation to reauthorize and increase Ex-Im’s lending authority by 40 percent, from $100 billion to $140 billion, despite surprising opposition in the House and Senate.
As this fight heats up, it is important to know where your Representative stands on the issue. Calling your congressional office and asking whether or not he or she will oppose the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank and reporting back what they say creates a feedback loop that will help conservatives win. Take action now by making the call.
As conservatives, we are opposed to the Export-Import Bank of the United States, an 80-year-old institution that allegedly exists to “facilitate exports and imports and the exchange of commodities between the United States and other Nations.” That description sounds benign, or perhaps even beneficial, until the Bank’s practices, such as using taxpayer backed loans and loan guarantees to support politically connected companies or to advance a particular ideology, are brought to light.
We have written about our opposition to the Bank before, invoking the ire of some of the Bank’s supporters.