Export-Import Bank

House Pushes Forward to Reauthorize Export-Import Bank, Crown Jewel of Crony Capitalism

If this is how a Republican-led Congress acts, who do they think they're kidding when they talk about limited government?

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Courtesy Madame Tussaud's

The Republican-led House of Representatives have moved forward with a somewhat arcane and complicated procedure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, one of the baldest examples of crony capitalism in today's America.

Ex-Im, as it's known, was created by FDR and provides financing and loans to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods produced by favored firms (read: mostly Boeing, General Electric, Caterpillar, and other multi-billion corporations). Even Barack Obama used to cite Ex-Im as "little more than a fund for corporate welfare."

From The Daily Signal:

The House of Representatives moved one step closer to bringing the Export-Import Bank back from the dead Monday after 62 Republicans teamed up with 184 House Democrats to force a vote to reauthorize the embattled agency.

Despite opposition from the vast majority of Republicans, the House passed a motion to discharge a bill reauthorizing Ex-Im from the Financial Services Committee, 246-177. (See how your member of Congress voted.)

The vote clears a path for the chamber to vote on the legislation sponsored by Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn. Under Fincher's legislation, the 81-year-old bank would be reauthorized through 2019. 

What does that all mean? Mostly this: The GOP leadership is fundamentally dishonest when it talks about reducing the size, scope, and spending of government (this is clear, too, from the budget deal that Peter Suderman reported on earlier today). Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy has led the fight against the renewal of the Export-Import Bank, which saw its charter expire this year for the first time. To read the comprehensive case against the bank, go here and here.

Back when he became House Majority Leader and before he pulled out of the race for Speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy had announced that killing Ex-Im was his first priority. That was then, though. And now the GOP leadership is doing what it can to breathe life back into this shameful use of tax dollars.

De Rugy has issued this statement on the House GOP's machinations:

The move is shocking in many ways. It is a sign that many Republicans in the House have no problem showing their support for cronyism and K street at the expense of everyone else without, it seems, fear of consequences. It also shows how easily some GOP members will ally with Democrats to advance so odious a goal. 

It is also a perfect demonstration that bipartisanship often results in the growth of government and the promotion of special interests. Finally, the move goes a long way to bypass regular order. It should give pause to every chairman in the House as a tactic can be used against them next.

Related: "3 Reasons to KILL the Export-Import Bank FOREVER"

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  1. What are you talking about? Republicans are all about cutting government! Just not that! Or that! That’s off limits too! But they’re all about cutting government! Really, they are!

    1. In this particular case, the Republican leadership did everything that they could to block this from coming to a vote. The moderates and statists signed a discharge petition to overturn leadership.

      The budget deal is another thing altogether, but it’s completely stupid and insane to blame this on the leadership.

      1. Apparently the procedure the 62 Republicans used is so arcane and complicated the Gillespie does not understand that the purpose in using it was to bypass the GOP House leadership.

        Rain derision upon the 62 as much as you want, but they would not becsuccesful if the supposedly anti- corporate welfare Democrats were not marching in lockstep to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. But I guess the TOP leadership being on the right side of an issues goes against Gillespie’s narrative.

  2. But the Republicans are bonkers to support Trump. Just Bonkers I tell you. The guy is a crony capitalist lover of big government. How could any self respecting Republican vote for that?

    1. Bonkers? No, I think you mean batshit crazy – to the point where they probably shouldn’t be allowed to vote!

      1. Yeah because Trump is so much worse than the people currently in office. Other than the desire to just bullshit social signal, what could possibly make you think Trump is any worse than what we have?

        1. Republican goal:

          Be as good as the shitbags already in office.

          1. To be fair, if Democrats would adopt that as their goal, Hilary would be out on her ass, and the US would be facing a slightly brighter future.

            1. Ha!

              Hillary isn’t half as bad as Obama. I’d take three Clintons to one Obama any day of the week.

              No matter what happens this cycle, things will improve.

              1. I disagree. I would rather have Obama – a spineless milquetoast academic who has spent the last 8 years avoiding any real confrontations and whose sole achievement was a mass of unneeded compromises – than the ruthless politico that is Hillary Clinton.

                1. Agree with Susan. Obama by this time either knows that he or his staff is irretrievably incompetent or is sick and tired of the whole mess. In either event he’d rather it be Jan 2017 so that he can get his world Honoraria and Golf Extravaganza underway, rather than duke it out with a public and Congress that just doesn’t appreciate his vision. He’s lazy, IOW.

                  Hillary is the furthest thing from lazy, assuming she doesn’t stroke out at some point over the next five years. She’s the ‘industrious idiot’ in von Moltke’s four types of staff officers. She can do a lot more harm than Obama at this point.

              2. I think there’s something wrong with your maths.

                Bill isn’t half as bad as BO, but Hillary will be worse.

                The only upside I can see to a Hillary presidency is that the cleansing fire to follow might lead to a new start.

              3. I’d take two Bill Clintons to one Obama.

                But Hillary is a more vicious animal than Bill. Bitch thinks her Libyan intervention — which caused nothing but a pile of dead bodies and chaos in its wake — was “smart power at its best”.

          2. Yes Frank. The Republicans are horrible and the Democrats are too but not horrible enough for you to ever mention it.

            It is your move. We get it. I wish you would get another move or at least do this one less for the sake of being less tiresome.

            1. tiresome

              Oh, the projection…

              1. It’s all he has.

        2. 60 of 240 Republicans support Ex-Im. None of leadership does.

          Solution: Let’s elect as President someone like those 60, so we can have leadership that supports the Ex-Im Bank?

    2. *shrug*

      Trump supports the Ex-Im Bank. Voting for Trump is like voting for one of the 60 House Republicans that signed the discharge petition and voted with the Democrats here.

  3. Nothing.left.to.cut

  4. Do Team Red politicians even talk about small government anymore? I thought all they talked about was the scary brown people in the Middle East and the scary brown people coming from Mexico and the scary brown people in the White House.

    1. Do Team Red politicians even talk about small government anymore?

      Nope.

    2. Small what? I’ll tell you what isn’t small. Trump’s hat. And his hair. Did you hear what the hair said the other day? Ask the hat.

    3. Rounding up and deporting 11 million illegals is a job only a nightwatchman state can accomplish.

      1. Don’t forget the extra money will need to make retailers instruct their cashiers to wish people “Merry Christmas”.

        1. Remember, the Democrats said that the government actually had the authority to make you buy broccoli. So there’s no limiting principle that says Congress can’t make you say “Merry Christmas”.

          1. Who needs Congress? Executive Order or get the fuck out!

            1. But to get the right XOs, we need the right people in charge.

              1. Oh, we’ll find the right Top. Men. someplace.

        2. It should take only two officers per register. It practically pays for itself.

          1. With a rider that these brave warriors on civil duty get extra bonus pay, of course. You’ve seen Black Friday crowds. We can’t have timid officers in that hostile environment. That would be anarchy!

            1. #BlackFridaysMatter

          2. “It practically pays for itself.”

            Or if it doesn’t, at least it’s an “investment”!

            1. Investment in our FUTURE!

              1. A future of many, many Merry Christmases!
                What more could you ask of your government?

                1. MAKE DREAMS OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS AGAIN!

                  1. Make Christmas Merry Again?

                  2. Man, “white” this, “white” that – the fucking racism just goes on, and on, and on….

                    1. I know. And even Mr. Mulatto . . . talk about false consciousness.

      2. You know what’s cool? Democrats are ready to give them the police-state and the legal cover to do it!

      3. We can build and man a border fence with our minarchist forces! These things aren’t completely contradictory at all! You just have to believe, NutraSweet!

      4. Oh, I don’t know. If the government was to revoke the license of any business that knowingly employs illegal immigrants, and make good on enforcing such a law by following up on all reports and revoking licenses for a period of years, then I think a good portion of the illegal population would self-deport.

        *SLD on business licensing*

      5. Shit… We can remove 15% tomorrow by emptying our jails of illegals- but they come back…

    4. Yeah, that’s it, Hugh.

      The Repubs are racist. You know, the party who has a new frontrunner who is black.

      But not black-black, I guess.

      Maybe the key adjective isn’t “brown”. Its “scary”.

        1. It’s the white ones that are.

        2. That’s not fair! Brown, maroon, and forest green compliment a darker complexion!

        3. They’re full of stars!

    5. Team Red is against any big government program that could be a wedge issue against Team Blue.

      Ex-im bank doesn’t make the cut.

  5. What is remarkable that the progs who supposedly hate corporations and welfare for corporations support team blue which is primarily the one that has driven reauthorization.

    Ashamed to see team red looking to re ignite this.

    1. So neither side actually believes its own campaign literature? Let me sculpt these campaign flyers into a shocked face.

      1. *admires Doc’s origami*

    2. But, but, but if not for the Ex-Im, millions of jerb would be sent to China!

  6. In news so frustratingly stupid you can’t make it up, Initiative to limit rich, out-of-state money and keep it from influencing local politics is being carried almost entirely by rich, out-of-state money:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/op…..s-purpose/

    The I-122 campaign has raised a whopping $869,134 of which $498,668, or 57 percent, came from deep-pocketed organizations and wealthy donors from out of state. It’s the most heavily financed race on this year’s ballot in Seattle.

    Among the top donors include:

    ? Sean Eldridge of Hudson River Ventures of Shokan, N.Y., who donated $200,000: Eldridge is a venture capitalist and political activist who is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

    ? Every Voice, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., gave $211,168.

    ? Amalgamated Bank of New York gave $50,000.

    ? Represent.us, a political advocacy group based in Florence, Mass., pitched in $27,500.

    What’s troubling is not so much who these big donors are as much as their strategy of pumping a lot of money into an initiative that aims to limit “big money” in local elections.

    I have received no less than something like 12 professionally produced fliers demanding I vote “Yes” on I-122, I have received exactly zero (0) fliers of any kind asking me to vote “no”. None, not one. Zip.

  7. “The GOP leadership is fundamentally dishonest when it talks about reducing the size, scope, and spending of government”

    This is undoubtedly true, but this article provides no support for this statement.

    What was the GOP leadership’s role in this unusual parliamentary move? I understood this to be a move by backbenchers that got around leadership.

    1. Ah. So they are merely incompetent, not actively statist? I feel so much better.

      As much as I hate their agenda, they seem to be out-playing the anarchists all day long.

      1. They have a 60 member statist wing of their caucus that is willing to sign a discharge petition. A discharge petition is almost never used, but it completely upends the normal House leadership to force a vote on something that a majority of the House has petitioned for.

        I suppose we can complain that the House leadership isn’t eager enough to punish rebels.

    2. Correct. This was a discharge petition. The GOP leadership was blocking it from coming to a vote, so the “moderate rebels” teamed up with the Democrats to get around the GOP leadership.

      This article is horribly, horribly flawed in its comments about the leadership. For once, not their fault. For shame Nick, for shame.

      1. Dear leader put out the word that he is cleaning the barn – yes? And the coming leadership, likely including current made men, could have signaled to the repubes that defections on this public commitment would cost more than whatever crony benefits were promised. Of course, the apologetics could extend to claiming that current and future leaders are impotent, slow-witted, and out-maneuvered by backbenchers, but otherwise it certainly looks as if the leadership is dishonest. For good measure, what good will has this crowd built up that would naturally lead us to give them the benefit of the doubt?

        Here’s the interpretation of Emma Dumain of Roll Call: “Speaker John A. Boehner did not actively participate in the bipartisan push to reopen the Ex-Im Bank using the discharge petition maneuver, which allows rank-and-file members to bypass leadership in forcing a House floor vote on any bill, within a certain time frame, provided there are 218 signatures. However, the Ohio Republican is scrambling to “clean the barn” of politically perilous legislative business before he resigns at the end of the week, in part to make things easier on his likely successor, Ways and Means Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. Serving as speaker during votes to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank charter, which Ryan opposes, is one item on the lengthy list that includes a budget deal, an agreement to raise the debt ceiling and an extension of funding for surface transportation and infrastructure initiatives.”

  8. It’s like you see only what you want to see.

    Every single Democrat is pushing to get the ex-im back–there aren’t any Democrats against it–including faux-libertarian darling Polis.

    Republicans, who are in a very visible fight for control among statist and non-statist factions are mostly against it.

    Can anything be done? No. Because the statist Boehner and his statist Dem and Rep cronies want what they want.

    To act like this is something the gOP supports is just crazy.

    1. Because the statist Boehner

      It’s *also* just crazy to act like this is the fault of Boehner or the GOP leadership. A discharge petition is what happens when backbenchers overthrow the leadership.

      (The Speaker, by tradition, does not vote, so he’s not in the roll call.)

      This is more akin to when 60 libertarianish Republicans join with Democrats to pass pro-marijuana amendments or reform the NSA, which also happened this year. Except that in those cases, leadership allowed the votes to come normally, whereas here the Republican leadership tried to stop it, but a discharge petition was used.

      I suppose people could ask for stricter discipline and punishment against party rebels, but be careful what you wish for.

    2. Nick is being fundamentally dishonest here, but there’s nothing new about that. Opposition to TPP came almost entirely from the dems, so who does Nick single out? Jeff Sessions. 75% of the votes to reauthorize Ex-Im come from dems, but it’s the crossover reps that are the problem. And guess who’s willing to sign the reauthorization when it comes to his desk?

      Cue the cosmos “STOP PICKING ON REASON!”

      1. We must punish all these fake republicans by voting for Hillary Clinton and every democrat on the ballot. The democrats are the true party of freedom and small government.

        Vote Clinton/Castro and the democrats in November of 2016.

        1. Nick Gi-Eleven-Spie?

  9. who do they think they’re kidding when they talk about limited government?

    Republicans. They fall for anything.

  10. The House of Representatives moved one step closer to bringing the Export-Import Bank back from the dead Monday after 62 Republicans teamed up with 184 House Democrats to force a vote to reauthorize the embattled agency.

    Boehner is basically the head of a weak coalition government.

  11. There may be something good about Paul Ryan after all.

    Have a look at what he said regarding the Ex-Im Bank at Cafe Hayek today. Three Cheers!

    1. Ryan is another statist douchebag, that wants no opposition from them thar libertarians when he is speaker.

  12. Why should any Republican give a shit about limited government rhetoric when Donald Trump is the clear favorite of the Republican party’s voters? Obviously, the voters don’t really give a crap about limited government after all so, who cares? Immigration trumps all other issues combined. Any Republican who might have been under the illusion that they had to care about small government in order to appeal to the base ought to be thoroughly disabused of that notion. You can be a crony capitalist extraordinaire, mouth the right bullshit about Mexicans, and you’ll get 30% of the vote automatically. Donald Trump proves that Republican candidates not only don’t care about limited government, they don’t have to.

  13. Why should any Republican give a shit about limited government rhetoric when Donald Trump is the clear favorite of the Republican party’s voters? Obviously, the voters don’t really give a crap about limited government after all so, who cares? Immigration trumps all other issues combined. Any Republican who might have been under the illusion that they had to care about small government in order to appeal to the base ought to be thoroughly disabused of that notion. You can be a crony capitalist extraordinaire, mouth the right bullshit about Mexicans, and you’ll get 30% of the vote automatically. Donald Trump proves that Republican candidates not only don’t care about limited government, they don’t have to.

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