Dec 05, 2016

Ex-Im Rider Would be an Early Christmas for Lobbyists and Special Interests

Post by Derek Yale

Obama Administration Trying to Unleash Billions in Corporate Welfare Before Next President Takes Office

Arlington, VA – With government funding set to expire at the end of this week, Congress is currently working to pass a short-term spending bill. But buried in the legislation could be a policy rider changing the quorum rules at the Ex-Im Bank that would give the Obama administration the ability to send billions of dollars in corporate welfare out the door in only a matter of weeks.

Currently the Ex-Im Bank lacks the board quorum necessary to approve loans and financing that exceed $10 million. This policy rider would amend the quorum requirement and open the floodgates to billions in corporate welfare. According to the Bank’s public records, there are more than $20 billion in pending transactions that would move out the door if this rule is changed.

Freedom Partners Vice President of Policy Andy Koenig issued the following statement:

“President Obama and Harry Reid would like nothing more than to give an early Christmas to lobbyists and special interests who stand to benefit from billions in corporate welfare at the Ex-Im Bank. Fiscal conservatives should be outraged if a Republican majority gift wraps this special interest giveaway. It’s been less than a month since the election and Washington may already be back to business-as-usual.”

Freedom Partners previously joined in an effort of nearly 40 free-market groups, including Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and Club for Growth, calling on Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Ryan to oppose efforts to ease the quorum requirement for the Ex-Im Bank in any forthcoming spending legislation. Read the coalition’s letter here.

In August, Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden  sent a letter to Speaker Ryan urging Congress to reject all efforts to alter Export-Import Bank quorum rules.

Billions Of Dollars In Corporate Welfare Is Set To Be Awarded If The Export-Import Bank Quorum Rule Is Altered: “Ex-Im has more than 30 board-level transactions pending in the pipeline, valued at more than $20 billion.” (Sen. Heitkamp et al, Letter to Chairman Shelby, 6/30/16)

President-Elect Donald Trump Opposes Export-Import Bank Corporate Welfare: “I don’t like it because I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s a one-way street also. It’s sort of a feather bedding for politicians and others, and a few companies. And these are companies that can do very well without it. So I don’t like it. I think it’s a lot of excess baggage. I think it’s unnecessary. And when you think about free enterprise, it’s really not free enterprise. I’d be against it.” (Patrick Brennan, “Is Donald Trump Starting to Sound a Little Serious?,” National Review, 8/4/2015)