This week in Congress: Ex-Im Bank in the CR?

As I mentioned in my prior post on this week in Congress, there is an effort to add language to the Continuing Resolution changing the Export-Import Bank's (Ex-Im Bank) quorum requirement in order to get around Senate Banking Committee Chairman Shelly's block on new members to the Ex-Im Bank's board, and thus allowing them to approve new loans.

Since work is ongoing on this bill, Campaign for Liberty members still have time to call their Senators and Representatives to tell them to oppose adding language changing the Ex-Im Bank's quorum rules to the Continuing Resolution.

Here is the text of a coalition letter cosigned by Campaign for Liberty opposing adding the lanuage to the CR:

September 16, 2016
Dear Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Ryan:
On behalf of our groups and organizations, together representing millions of Americans, we urge you to oppose efforts to ease the quorum requirement for the Export Import Bank on upcoming spending legislation.

We have significant concerns on the procedure. Attaching this quorum change to a continuing resolution is the latest in a line of efforts that subvert Congressional processes. This provision would subvert the Senate approval process for board members of the Export-Import Bank and set a concerning precedent for future accountability.

We also have concerns on the merits of the policy. This provision would allow the bank to make larger loans with even less oversight--and it would be attached to unrelated legislation providing funds for the government after September 30. This would make it easier for the agency to make risky, taxpayer-backed loans to big businesses and foreign corporations.

American taxpayers and small businesses deserve better than this. We encourage you to oppose efforts to attach a provision to ease the quorum requirement for the Export Import Bank on upcoming spending legislation.


Brent Gardner, Vice President of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity
Mark Holden, Chairman
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
David McIntosh, President
Club for Growth
Michael A. Needham, CEO
Heritage Action for America
Jim Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association
Melissa Ortiz, Founder & Principal
Able Americans
Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment
Thomas J. Pyle, President
American Energy Alliance
Coley Jackson, President
Americans for Competitive Enterprise
Peter J. Thomas, Chairman
Americans for Constitutional Liberty
Norm Singleton, President
Campaign For Liberty
Andrew F. Quinlan, President
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Jeffrey Mazzella, President
Center for Individual Freedom
Jim Backlin, Vice President for Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition for America
Michael J. Bowen, CEO
Coalition For a Strong America
Stephani Scruggs, COO
Coalition For a Strong America
Iain Murray, Vice President for Strategy
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Dan Caldwell, Vice President for Legislative and Political
Concerned Veterans for America
Tom Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Adam Brandon, President and CEO
Andrew Clark, President
Generation Opportunity
Andresen Blom, Executive Director
Grassroot Hawaii Action, Inc.
Carrie Lukas, Managing Director
Independent Women's Forum
Heather Higgens, President and CEO
Independent Women’s Voice
Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty
Seton Motley, President
Less Government
Mat Staver, Esq., Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel
Amy Ridenour, Chairman
National Center for Public Policy Research
Willes K. Lee, President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Pete Sepp, President
National Taxpayers Union
Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow
R Street Institute
William Whipple III, President
Secure America's Future Economy
Stephen Ellis, Vice President
Taxpayers for Common Sense
David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Judson Phillips, Founder
Tea Party Nation
Jenny Beth Martin, Co-Founder
Tea Party Patriots
Daniel Garza, Executive Director
The LIBRE Initiative
Carl Bearden, Executive Director
United for Missouri

Here is a good look at the attempt to sneak the Ex-IM Bank quorum change into the CR by Veronique de Rugy.

Here is Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul's 2015 column on "Ex-Im Bank is Welfare for the One Percent":

This month Congress will consider whether to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). Ex-Im Bank is a New Deal-era federal program that uses taxpayer funds to subsidize the exports of American businesses. Foreign businesses, including state-owned corporations, also benefit from Ex-Im Bank. One country that has benefited from $1.5 billion of Ex-Im Bank loans is Russia. Venezuela, Pakistan, and China have also benefited from Ex-Im Bank loans.

With Ex-Im Bank’s track record of supporting countries that supposedly represent a threat to the US, one might expect neoconservatives, hawkish liberals, and other supporters of foreign intervention to be leading the effort to kill Ex-Im Bank. Yet, in an act of hypocrisy remarkable even by DC standards, many hawkish politicians, journalists, and foreign policy experts oppose ending Ex-Im Bank.

This seeming contradiction may be explained by the fact that Ex-Im Bank’s primary beneficiaries include some of America’s biggest and most politically powerful corporations. Many of Ex-Im Bank’s beneficiaries are also part of the industrial half of the military-industrial complex. These corporations are also major funders of think tanks and publications promoting an interventionist foreign policy.

Ex-Im Bank apologists claim that the bank primarily benefits small business. A look at the facts tells a different story. For example, in fiscal year 2014, 70 percent of the loans guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank’s largest program went to Caterpillar, which is hardly a small business.

Boeing, which is also no one’s idea of a small business, is the leading recipient of Ex-Im Bank aid. In fiscal year 2014 alone, Ex-Im Bank devoted 40 percent of its budget — $8.1 billion — to projects aiding Boeing. No wonder Ex-Im Bank is often called “Boeing’s bank.”

Taking money from working Americans, small businesses, and entrepreneurs to subsidize the exports of large corporations is the most indefensible form of redistribution. Yet many who criticize welfare for the poor on moral and constitutional grounds do not raise any objections to welfare for the rich.

Ex-Im Bank’s supporters claim that ending Ex-Im Bank would deprive Americans of all the jobs and economic growth created by the recipients of Ex-Im Bank aid. This claim is a version of the economic fallacy of that which is not seen. The products exported and the people employed by businesses benefiting from Ex-Im Bank are visible to all. But what is not seen are the products that would have been manufactured, the businesses that would have been started, and the jobs that would have been created had the funds given to Ex-Im Bank been left in the hands of consumers.

Another flawed justification for Ex-Im Bank is that it funds projects that could not attract private sector funding. This is true, but it is actually an argument for shutting down Ex-Im Bank. By funding projects that cannot obtain funding from private investors, Ex-Im Bank causes an inefficient allocation of scarce resources. These inefficiencies distort the market and reduce the average American's standard of living.

Some Ex-Im Bank supporters claim that Ex-Im Bank promotes free trade. Like all other defenses of Ex-Im Bank, this claim is rooted in economic fallacy. True free trade involves the peaceful, voluntary exchange of goods across borders — not forcing taxpayers to subsidize the exports of politically powerful companies.

Ex-Im Bank distorts the market and reduces the average American's standard of living in order to increase the power of government and enrich politically powerful corporations. Congress should resist pressure from the crony capitalist lobby and allow Ex-Im Bank's charter to expire at the end of the month. Shutting down Ex-Im Bank would improve our economy and benefit most Americans. It is time to kick Boeing and all other corporate welfare queens off the dole.

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