Nov 15, 2016

New E-Mails Reveal Ex-Im Bank Cronyism at its Worst

Post by Freedom Partners

Clinton Allies Manipulated Ex-Im as Slush Fund to Leverage Political Connections and Reward Donors

Newly released e-mails in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal an intimate relationship between high-level operatives connected to Bill and Hillary Clinton, top Export-Import Bank officials, and well-connected corporations seeking taxpayer-funded loans.

The Washington Examiner recently reported that “Three top President Obama appointees to the Export-Import Bank were negotiating to join Teneo, the Clinton-connected consulting firm, at the same time a Teneo client was lining up for itself the largest subsidy Ex-Im has ever given out, emails reveal.”

While the report acknowledges the emails reveal no evidence of illegal activity, they do provide an inside look at how special interests operate in Washington, D.C. to obtain special favors and treatment from government officials.

“These emails show how Clinton allies systematically used the Ex-Im Bank as a taxpayer slush fund for corporate welfare and personal gain. Leveraging political connections to benefit clients and donors with billions in taxpayer subsidies is cronyism 101,” said Freedom Partners Vice President of Policy Andy Koenig in light of these revelations.The fact that this seems to be standard operating procedure at Ex-Im is exactly why we can’t reopen the floodgates by altering the bank’s quorum rules now or in the future,” Koenig continued.

Now, during the upcoming congressional lame-duck session, Ex-Im supporters are expected to push legislation that would change the Ex-Im Bank quorum requirements, which would allow the bank to approve corporate welfare deals worth more than $10 million. Currently, the bank’s board lacks the sufficient number of members to green-light these taxpayer-backed giveaways.

Fiscally responsible lawmakers need to oppose this misguided effort. The latest news once again proves that Ex-Im puts special interests ahead of Americans’ interests. It should be eliminated, not strengthened.