Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Debate Splitting Republicans

2013 Hensarling Headshot (Official)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who is opposed to reauthorization, said the Ex-Im does nothing to foster free enterprise.

Pressure appears to be building within the Republican Party to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. rather than let it expire Sept. 30, according to the Hill.

Republican U.S. Reps. John Campbell of California and Stephen Fincher of Tennessee are both working on legislation that would reform the official U.S. export credit agency, which helps finance the export of goods and services to international markets.

Government auditors say the Ex-Im Bank actually makes money for taxpayers, leveling the playing field for U.S. companies in countries that subsidize their industries.

But in an op-ed piece for Investor's Business Daily, Lawrence Kudlow noted in arguing against reauthorization that 60 percent of Ex-Im money goes to 10 giant corporations, including the privately held Bechtel Group Inc., the Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) and the General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE). And even the 20 percent funneled to smaller businesses goes to companies with 500 to 1,500 workers.

Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) estimates Ex-Im loans to foreign airlines to buy Boeing planes have cost Delta 2,500 domestic jobs.

The tea party has been highly critical of the agency, calling it the height of crony capitalism, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are fighting to save the Ex-Im Bank, the Washington Post reported.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who is opposed to reauthorization, said the Ex-Im Bank does nothing to foster free enterprise. “For the sake of our republic, our movement had best unmask the imposters and come down clearly on the side of free enterprise,” he said in a recent speech at the Heritage Foundation.

The bank's authorization coincidentally expires the same day Congress will need to act on a continuing resolution to keep the government open next fall.

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