The cronies are at it again and using a spending measure, in this case the CR, to try to revive the Ex-Im Bank entirely. Their move is meant to bypass Senator Shelby, the Chairman of the Banking Committee, who has jurisdiction over this issue and has been a solid free-market and anti-crony ally. The Hill reports:
Another holdup is a policy rider that would empower the Export-Import Bank to approve transactions exceeding $10 million without a three-person quorum from the five-member board.
Congress reauthorized the bank last year after a long and bitter fight, but Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has tied the agency’s hands by holding up the nomination of Mark McWatters to serve as the third member of the board.
The board currently has only two members.
Republicans say legislative language to change the bank’s quorum rules is being pushed by Democrats.
“I think it’s a Democrat request,” Thune said. “Everybody’s got their gives and takes on this.”
A senior Democratic aide argued, however, that there is bipartisan support for adding a provision that would let the bank finance bigger deals, noting that Republicans such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) strongly back the agency.
Yep, while some Republicans have fought bravely to close the bank, many of them aren’t our friends.
The Club for Growth released this message:
“This is cronyism working behind the backs of the American people to protect more cronyism,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh. “It’s no secret that the Export-Import Bank is simply Washington bureaucrats providing favors for a handful of big corporations. And, when Washington insiders don’t like the rules they’re forced to live by – including rules that limit how much Ex-Im can put taxpayers on the hook for – they change the rules. Congress should not be a party to any effort to use the insider game of attaching language to a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding bill in order to create those new rules that give more power to the Obama Administration. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Senator Richard Shelby (AL) has blocked previous attempts at throwing Ex-Im a lifeline, but he’s facing opposition from both sides of the aisle. The CR process is almost always a mess, with Members of Congress habitually looking to load up the bill with their pet projects. House Speaker Paul Ryan needs to hold the line. He’s opposed the Export-Import Bank before and he should make it clear that there will be no Ex-Im riders on the CR.”
But Chairman Ryan promised these shenanigans wouldn’t happen anymore. Let’s see what he does.