Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ex-Im Bank: The government-run slush fund for corporate welfare

This was a bad week in the U.S. House of Representatives for economic conservatives.

While a small and dedicated contingency of pro-growth, limited government champions were hard at work trying to protect our economic freedom, the majority of Representatives - including an alarming number of Republicans - were busy spending your hard-earned tax dollars. One of the most egregious affronts being the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

The Ex-Im Bank is nothing more than a government-run slush fund for corporate welfare. Nearly half of all its subsidies go to the massive company, Boeing. Most of the other half is split amongst companies that have either close political ties or good lobbyists. Since it subsidizes exports, we like to call it the "Fannie Mae of international trade."

President Obama asked for a 40% increase in the bank's lending authority. The GOP leadership, in what they audaciously referred to as a "compromise" with House Democrats, agreed to a bill that would not only reauthorize the Bank, but would also increase its authority by the 40% requested by Obama! Among Republicans, the vote was 147-93 in favor of the bill. It passed 330-93.

Equally as disappointing as what did pass in the House this week, is what it failed to pass.

The House debated a large spending bill that makes up part of next year's budget. During the debate, several fiscal conservatives offered amendments that would - both modestly and substantially - reduce the size of government. Below are a few examples. We encourage you to click on the links to see how your representative voted.

  • Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) offered an amendment that would reduce spending in the bill by about 1 percent. It failed, 160-251.
  • Paul Broun (GA-10) offered an amendment that would reduce spending in the bill by about 3 percent. It failed, 137-270.
  • Paul Broun (GA-10) offered an amendment that would reduce spending in the bill by 12.2 percent. It would exempt the U.S. Marshal Service, the FBI and NASA. It failed, 105-307.
  • Tom McClintock (CA-04) offered an amendment that would reduce spending in the bill by $277.8 million for the International Trade Administration. It failed, 121-287.
  • Paul Broun (GA-10) offered an amendment that would reduce by $15 million the amount provided for the restoration of Pacific salmon populations. It failed, 168-239.
  • Mike Pompeo (KS-04) offered an amendment that would defund the Economic Development Administration, which is nothing more than corporate welfare. The amendment would save $219.5 million. The Club key-voted this amendment so it will be showing up on our 2012 congressional scorecard. It failed, 129-279.
  • Jeff Flake (AZ-06) offered an amendment that would reduce by $1.2 billion the amount provided for the National Science Foundation. It failed, 121-291.
  • Austin Scott (GA-08) offered an amendment that would eliminate all funding in the bill for the Legal Services Corporation. It failed, 122-289.
Never has a week more exemplified why the work that Club for Growth Action does to elect pro-growth, free market conservatives is so critical. As bad a week as this was for all Americans who share in our free market principles, it could have been much worse…and I have reason to hope it will get better.

True, the majority of Representatives - including a large contingency of RINOS - voted the wrong way on the Ex-Im Bank and the spending amendments.

But, 9 Representatives voted the right way on every single one listed above. And what these 9 Representatives have in common is that each of them was endorsed by the Club's PAC and elected with the help of Club members in the 2010 election cycle!

Justin Amash (MI-03), Steve Chabot (OH-01), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), Mick Mulvaney (SC-05), Mike Pompeo (KS-04), David Schweikert (AZ-05), Tim Walberg (MI-06), and Todd Young (IN-09) voted AGAINST the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank and they all voted in FAVOR of cutting spending.

Not only that, but the people who offered some of the amendments - Marsha Blackburn (TN-07), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Pompeo (KS-04) - were elected with Club member support.

So our guys are in Congress and they are fighting hard and voting the right way. But they need reinforcements fighting by their side. To abandon them now would be to walk away from a job half done, the consequences of which would be disastrous for the future of our nation.

Just like in 2010, the greatest tool we have at our disposal to elect even more champions of economic is Club for Growth Action.

Your contributions to Club for Growth Action are used to run hard-hitting independent expenditure ads in key House and Senate races. These races made the difference in 2010 and they can make the difference in 2012.

So please, reaffirm your commitment to electing not just a Republican Majority but an Economic Conservative Majority by making a generous contribution to Club for Growth Action TODAY.

Together we can fundamentally change the make-up of the United State Congress. Together we can save our nation.

Best regards,


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