The Corner

Economy & Business

Senator Rubio Offers an Amendment to Permanently Kill the Ex-Im Bank

On Tuesday, I noted that I assumed someone would soon draft a bill requiring the Ex-Im Bank to transfer its remaining functions to other agencies, preferably Treasury. I also said that ideally, the Ex-Im portfolio would be auctioned off to the private sector:

To this Hochberg responded that the transfer of the bank’s functions must first be approved by Congress. That’s good to know, and I assume that if Ex-Im doesn’t get reauthorized through the highway bill, someone will soon draft a bill requesting the transfer of Ex-Im assets and obligations. The Department Of Treasury would be a logical candidate if the portfolio is to remain under government purview. …

Congress should auction off the bank’s portfolio to the private sector. There is obviously more expertise among private financiers than federal bureaucrats. After all, 98 percent of exports are financed without any help from the government. Problem solved.

Well, as it turns out Senator Rubio did just that. He has just offered an amendment to the Highway bill with senator Lee is a cosponsor that would:

‐abolish Ex-Im

‐transfer obligations and assets to Treasury

‐require Treasury to auction off the assets and obligations.

That’s great policy and great economics. And because it’s a firm step toward putting an end to a cronyist program, it’s also good politics.