2014's sleeper issue: A bank nobody's heard of

Eric Bradner

The 2014 campaign season’s got a sleeper issue: a government bank most people have never heard of.

The Export-Import Bank, a federal entity that has handed out loans to American businesses in relative obscurity for years, is suddenly a political flashpoint — either a symbol of government-sponsored corporate welfare, as some tea party Republicans argue, or a critical force for small business, some Democrats and establishment Republicans say…

…The bank’s troubles on the right became clear after last month’s primary ouster of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor offered GOP lawmakers a jarring reminder of the risks of veering from conservative orthodoxy.

Cantor’s successor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), subsequently reversed his previous support for the Export-Import Bank, saying he’d like to see it eliminated this fall. That put McCarthy on the same page as House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), one of the bank’s harshest critics on the Hill, underscoring the difficult path its reauthorization faces in the House and sending business groups scrambling to hire top lobbyists and seek endorsements of the bank from local companies.

Chamber President Donohue told reporters on a conference call that he won’t let the bank “fade quietly into the sunset.”

That cued Democrats to court pro-business donors who typically back Republicans. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat and the former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he’s been chatting up the Chamber president.

“I’ve said this to Tom Donohue and to others — I said, ‘In many ways, mainstream Democrats are closer to you than many Republicans because the tea party has pulled them so far to the right that they are doing what’s harmful to business,’” Schumer said.

The Export-Import Bank helps foreign customers buy American-made equipment from companies like Boeing, Caterpillar and General Electric as well as small businesses…



Read the complete article at Politico.


Related: Look how the Export-Import Bank is using your tax money

…This taxpayer funded entity, beloved by big spenders in both parties as well as the President, may soon get another fresh injection of blood to continue its rather ambiguous mission for years to come. But before that happens, lawmakers should be made aware that voters are up to date on this gimmick and have all the details in hand…


Elizabeth Warren, Hypocrite, Supports Ex-Im Bank

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren—a leading progressive populist, possible Democratic presidential candidate, self-proclaimed champion of the poor, and enemy of greedy corporations (not really, as you will see)—supports the Export-Import Bank.

That’s right: The woman best known for demonizing big businesses nevertheless wants to maintain an outlandishly generous subsidy package for them…


Obama Sanctions Russian Firms Once Subsidized by Ex-Im Bank

Two of the four Russian firms targeted for economic sanctions by President Obama this week received substantial subsidies from the Export-Import Bank. The financial ties highlight the complications inherent in U.S. taxpayer-financing of state-controlled outfits overseas…



An Interactive Timeline of the Export-Import Bank

See the history of the Export-Import Bank—from its inception in 1934 through the current debate over its reauthorization—in The Daily Signal’s interactive timeline…


Export-Import Bank Creates Unfair Playing Field For American Business

You can tell a lot about a piece of legislation by looking at who is for it and who is against it. The battle over whether to keep the Export-Import Bank alive is a case in point.

The Ex-Im Bank was established during FDR’s administration to encourage more trade with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is no longer, but — like most government programs — the Ex-Im Bank lives on. Today, the Ex-Im Bank gives loans at discount rates to foreign companies worldwide to buy products and services from U.S. companies.

The problem? It creates an unfair playing field for American companies…



Reason TV video: Sen. Mike Lee on Killing the Export-Import Bank, Primarying Republicans, And His Mormonism

“We’ve had a 75 or 80 year run with some really aggressive progressive policies,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). “They haven’t worked. They have enhanced America’s opportunity deficit, and the American people want a more conservative government.”

In 2010, Lee launched a successful primary challenge to three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett and went on to with the general election with 61 percent of the vote. Lee credits hotly contested primary elections not just with his own career but with keeping the Republican Party accountable to its constituents and the values it claims to hold.

“In order for the Republican Party, or any political party for that matter, to be able to lay any claim to be a party of principle, there needs to be a robust debate within that party. And for that to occur I think primary elections will always need to happen,” Lee tells Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie.

Lee talks about the rise of the Tea Party faction in Congress (of which he is a leader), why the GOP is failing to connect with millennials, and the role of religion in politics. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Lee says his Mormon faith shapes his views on the proper role of government, but adds:

“As a voter what I look for is whether somebody shares my view of government and its proper role. That person may or may not share my faith; that person may or may not have any faith. I’m hiring them not to be my minister. I’m hiring them to represent me in government. I want to know what they think the proper role of government is.”

About 20 minutes.



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