The reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank is a bad idea on many levels. Yet, the Senate sneaked in a vote late Monday night to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank using a series of convoluted parliamentary procedures that blocked opposition and permitted the Export-Import Bank to bypass the normal law-making procedures. In effect, the Senate Majority Leader advanced the Export-Import Bank as an amendment to the unrelated highway reauthorization bill, while at the same time forbidding every other amendment.
The Senate Majority Leader used the same parliamentary tricks that he despised when the Democrats were in the majority, which might have been defensible if he were doing something laudable like reforming entitlements or lowering the deficit. Instead, the Senate Majority Leader used the strong-arm parliamentary tactics to promote crony capitalism at the expense of taxpayers. The highway bill, with the Export-Import Bank amendment attached, will now head over to the House of Representatives. We don’t endorse or oppose specific pieces of legislation, but we hope House leaders will recognize bad economic policy when they see it.
As I’ve explained before, America should ditch the Export-Import Bank. In addition to the points I covered yesterday, and in this article for Townhall, I add one more reason not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank: As a world leader, the United States should lead. Instead of participating in a corrupt system where governments pick winners and losers, the United States should ditch the Export-Import Bank and lead the world to a better system of free trade, low taxes and minimal regulation. Unfortunately, the Senate’s recent passage of the Export-Import Bank amendment signals that this probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon.