The debate over Ex-Im is a decisive moment for conservatives: Democrats are feverishly working to save the crony Bank

Originally published here.

 

As usual, Washington is trying to play politics instead of looking at the long-term consequences of bad policies, putting what they see as the most appropriate short-term solution ahead of what would, in the long run, provide a more just scenario to business owners across the board, while relieving taxpayers in the process.

The debate surrounding the Export-Import Bank could represent a decisive moment for small-government Republicans who oppose corporate welfare, considering their anti-cronyism positions have been adamantly opposed to what the Democrats consider being “pro-business.”

The two parties have their own solutions to the Ex-Im Bank.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has introduced a proposal legislation that would keep the Export-Import Bank running for five more years. His bill, however, would increase the bank’s borrowing capacities, making it effectively capable of loaning more subsidies to major companies that, obviously, need absolutely no help to do their business abroad, especially if that help comes from hard working taxpayers. The transfer of subsidies, and favoritism games play extremely important roles in the process, and that does not seem to faze the Democrat – or his supporters.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), for an instance, has come out in support of the bank.

But to make sure his reauthorization effort is successful, Sen. Manchin decided to add another provision to the bill. The language, which was meant to attract gullible Republicans willing to trade votes for a quick coal fix, would roll back any Ex-Im Bank restrictions regarding subsidies to foreign coal firms. In other words, if this bill were to pass, the bank would obtain more leeway to provide subsidies to foreign coal plants.

Guess who felt 100 percent compelled to join the Democrat? You guessed it: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

But he’s not alone. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Mike Johanns (R-NE), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) have all joined Manchin.

In response, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) has introduced a counter-proposal that, unlike the Democrat’s version, would reportedly diminish the Export-Import Bank’s vital role, which is undoubtedly its capacity to loan money.

While Democrats vow to fight the pro-coal language in Manchin’s bill while supporting the Export-Import Bank, and Campbell tries to pass a bill that reauthorizes the bank while allegedly shrinking its influence, the Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are pushing to put an end to the 80-year-old crony agency.

McCarthy and Hensarling, who called the Export-Import Bank “the face of cronyism,” have both cast some doubts over Campbell’s bill. Considering its language does not resemble, in any way, a small government narrative, if it were to pass, the Ex-Im Bank would continue getting what it requires: the green light from the federal government to continue picking winners and losers at the expense of taxpayers.

Campbell has dismissed the criticism by saying that most lawmakers favor the Bank’s doing, but would only go along with the reauthorization if deep reforms were adopted.

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