The Export-Import bank expired the end of June and it should be allowed to stay dead. I wrote a piece for Townhall.com about the Ex-Im bank mid-June and laid out the reasons why this crony financial institution backed by taxpayer dollars should go the way of the dodo bird.
There are three reasons why the Ex-Im Bank is a horrible idea for a free enterprise opportunity economic system:
1. It duplicates private venture capital
2. It is nothing more than corporate welfare
3. It is a perverse manner of granting foreign aid
The federal government has no business being in the business of economic cronyism and corruption by using American taxpayer dollars for venture capitalism. Government ends up using tax dollars to select the winners and losers in the private sector. This is a horrible idea — so why is the GOP majority in the Senate supporting it?
On Sunday, while we were enjoying church and family time, the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate voted to end cloture, 67-26, on the highway transportation bill — which is up for renewal the end of this month. The sad thing is that the Export-Import Bank reauthorization is attached to the Highway Transportation Bill.
Yes, ladies and gents, the exact thing the GOP Congressional leadership said they would not do — attach unrelated amendments to bills because they could not stand alone in passing – they did. It is the vile DC game we believed (hoped?) the GOP would not play, but I guess they lied. And they were called out by only one Senator.
As reported by Fox News, “An extraordinary scene unfolded on the Senate floor Friday as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz bluntly accused Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying and said he’s running the Senate like his Democratic predecessor. The charges from the Texas senator and GOP presidential candidate were a rare departure from the Senate’s usual staid decorum, even for a politician famous for his fiery speeches.
We posted the Cruz speech yesterday. You can watch it here.
At issue were assurances Cruz claimed McConnell, R-Ky., had given that there was no deal to allow a vote to renew the federal Export-Import Bank — a little-known federal agency that has become a rallying cry for conservatives. Cruz rose to deliver his remarks moments after McConnell had lined up a vote on the bank.
“It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff the majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie, and I voted based on those assurances that he made to each and every one of us,” Cruz said.
“What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again, was a simple lie.”
Reports had emerged earlier this year that McConnell privately pledged a vote on the Ex-Im Bank, in exchange for winning support on President Obama’s trade agenda.”
In the Townhall.com piece, we expressed concern that Ex-Im bank reauthorization would be attached to another major “must pass” bill, such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
I can now reveal that in my contacts with Capitol Hill in my capacity as President/CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) we asked about whether the Ex-Im reauthorization would be attached to other legislation — and yes, the Highway Transportation Bill. AT EVERY TURN WE WERE TOLD THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN. I guess I can keep my doctor too.
This is why the GOP leadership is not trusted — and deemed no better than Reid or Pelosi. At least with Reid and Pelosi you knew what you were getting. Now with McConnell and Boehner, the American people are told one thing, and get another. The GOP voters were told to trust the House and Senate to the GOP and yet what do we get? In this case, corporate favoritism.
True conservatism is not about tilting the free enterprise economy for any industry. It is certainly not about sending taxpayer dollars to countries — some of them not our friends — to promote the purchase of certain American products. We should be focused on tax and regulatory policies that support our industry in making superior products at the best possible cost in order to be competitive in the open market, not this insidious manipulation.
The Export-Import Bank idea is no more viable than the idea of an Infrastructure Bank concept presented by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And oh by the way, President Obama fully supports the reauthorization of the Ex-Im bank — and we all know Obama’s track record of government crony capitalism. Does the name Solyndra ring a bell?
Why did Senate Majority Leader McConnell deny Senator Cruz’s amendment for release of the Iranian held American hostages, but allow the Export-Import Bank reauthorization amendment? Why not hold a standalone vote on the Ex-Im bank? Why attach it to something, the Highway Transportation Bill, which is not relevant? Is the GOP majority just doing the same ol’ typical political elitist games?
You wanna know why Donald Trump is ahead in these early presidential polls? Folks are tired of the gimmicks of Washington DC and realize that the GOP is just as culpable and complicit. Mr. Trump’s passion will only take him so far and he will have to account for his various previous statements and policy positions — as well as articulate his own specific policy decisions for America’s future.
Now, Senator Ted Cruz just happens to be my Senator here in Texas. He said exactly what I and many others here in the state of Texas feel — we are tired of being lied to. And having been inside that arena, I know how it work. Sadly, lying in Washington DC is truly a bipartisan quality.