In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) says Congress should let the Export-Import Bank expire on June 30th because it’s “the best example of corporate welfare that there is.”
Jordan, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, says:
This is big companies – wealthy big companies – I don’t fault them for being successful, but we have big companies who cozy up to big government to get a special deal. And it’s the thing that probably frosts and frustrates taxpayers more than anything else and so we have a chance – as I said in the press conference, it’s the one time that Congress can do what it does best – nothing – and this thing can go away.
He added that every Republican presidential candidate is against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, mentioning specifically former Texas Gov. Rick Perry who was once for it, and recently wrote a letter stating he is now against it.
“Every Republican presidential candidate is against reauthorization. The majority Leader of the House is against reauthorization, the Majority Whip is against the reauthorization, the head of the Senate Steering Committee Mr. Lee – who is with us – is against it, the Chairman of the Ways and Means, the Budget Committee, the Oversight Committee and the Financial Services Committee is against it – every major conservative group is opposed to it,” Jordan said during a press conference Tuesday.
The Export-Import Bank is a federal program that “subsidizes overseas purchases of U.S. exports,” according to the Associated Press. Jordan recently wrote that the bank “is a little-known government program that operates as a slush fund for politically connected businesses, which use it to secure taxpayer-backed financing and special deals.”
“We’ve got to change this and it’s time for us to end the perks and privileges that go to the wealthy and the well connected,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) during Tuesday’s press conference. “Everyone knows that we’ve got a bloated government here in Washington and there are programs that need to be reformed. Everyone knows here in Washington we’ve got welfare programs that are actually hurting the very people they are designed to help, but we all understand that we can’t reform welfare until we start by ending corporate welfare.”
“This is about standing up for regular Americans,” added Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). “This is a wealth transfer.”
Jordan argues that even President Obama during his time in the Senate said the bank is a “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
As the potential Democratic nominee in 2016, Hillary Clinton has come out in favor of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, according to Jordan.
My understanding is Hillary is strongly for it – which again shows a great contrast. You got one party who is for corporate welfare, big corporations cozying up to government getting special deals at the expense of tax paying families and then you got the other party that says – ‘you know what lets stand up for families, lets stand up for regular Americans, lets stand up for free enterprise, free markets’ – and that’s what elections are supposed to be about.
“Hillary is for it – our guys are against it – all the more reason one of our guys needs to be the next president,” Jordan adds.
Along with Clinton, the Chamber of Commerce backs the Ex-Im Bank, arguing that it provides loans that help buyers overseas to purchase U.S. products, the Associated Press reported. The Chamber of Commerce also argues thousands of jobs would be lost, and American businesses would be put at a disadvantage on the world scale.
Jordan disagrees with that argument, “The vast majority of small businesses across America receive no Ex-Im assistance at all. Of all U.S. Exports, only about 2 percent receive Ex-Im financing.”
He also says that the jobs that critics say would be lost if the bank were to expire were not created by the bank, so the jobs won’t disappear.
Jordan said federal programs like the Ex-Im Bank are what Americans hate about Washington. “They let government bureaucrats pick winners and losers dolling out taxpayer-funded handouts to well-connected corporations.”
He added that power could lead to corruption and the bank’s Office of the Inspector General recently found more than 30 cases of fraud and abuse that it is currently investigating. Jordan said the Inspector General hinted that even more indictments might be issued in the future.
The Associated Press reports that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he was concerned the Senate may go around the House on that issue. But Jordan said, “Anything that they send over we should say no to – look I don’t care what they may attach it to – what they may do – this thing is wrong in and of itself.”
The Senate is set to hold hearings during the first week in June on the Ex-Im Bank.
“Members will be heard, but I believe the momentum is in our favor,” Chairman of the House Financials Services Committee Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said.