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Export Import Bank stumbles toward a final exit

Jeb Hensarling, Maxine Waters

Yesterday the Export Import Bank had a bad day at the hearing chaired by Congressman Jeb Hensarling:

 The future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank was thrown further into doubt on Wednesday after an influential conservative lawmaker labeled the bank an example of corporate cronyism that benefits multi-nationals at the expense of taxpayers and smaller companies.

Tea Party Republicans, led by Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling, have mounted a push to shut down the bank, ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline for Ex-Im’s charter to be renewed.

The bank’s financing benefited “some of the largest, richest, most politically connected corporations in the world,” like Boeing, General Electric, Bechtel Corp and Caterpillar and it could not continue in its current form, Hensarling said.

I am becoming much more sanguine about the odds of the Export Import Bank’s authorization expiring in September. One of the first acts of incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was to say he was in favor of letting the Ex-Im Bank die.

New House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday he favors closing down the U.S. Export-Import Bank when its charter expires in September because the government does not need to be involved in financing exports.

“I think Ex-Im Bank is … something government does not have to be involved in. The private sector can do it,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

This is a small price for him to pay to solidify his position as majority leader when he has to run for re-election in January.

For all the touting supporters do of the Ex-Im Bank as a boon to small business, in fact about 90% of its activities are to the benefit of only 10 corporations. The largest benefactor is Boeing who is naturally pulling out all the stops to keep the trough filled to the brim. Oddly enough, testifying against the Ex-Im Bank were airline companies who find themselves trying to compete with foreign carriers flying aircraft from Boeing bought with US government subsidies.

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