Senator Pat Toomey addressed the issue of the Ex-Im Bank on the Senate floor on Wednesday in a four-minute speech you can listen to here, making the case that important questions need to be asked about what the Bank is doing and achieving (or not achieving, as it were).
Toomey seems to stand with Senate Mike Lee on this issue, raising concerns about the kind of corruption Lee pointed to in his NRO piece about Republican-endorsed cronyism this week:
The Right’s resistance to corporatism is a welcome development. Special-interest favoritism represents a uniquely malignant threat to the economic, political, and social ecosystem that makes America exceptional.
Policy privilege corrupts the free market by rewarding political connections over competitive excellence. It subverts the rule of law by codifying inequality. It undermines social solidarity by pitting citizens against one another, twisting cooperative communities into rival special interests. …
Whether the beneficiaries of particular Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees are respected, successful companies like Boeing or crony basket cases like Solyndra is irrelevant. Twisting policy to benefit any business at the expense of others is unfair and anti-growth.
Whether congressional Republicans say so — and do something about it — during the coming Ex-Im Bank debate will tell us a lot about what, and who, the party really stands for in 2014 and beyond.
Just what is this costing, or potentially costing, taxpayers? Well, ordinary American taxpayers’ exposure due to the Ex-Im Bank has doubled since 2007, to more than $4 billion, which should give us pause and at least convince lawmakers that a debate on the issue is necessary.