Media Buzz: Committee Examines Export-Import Bank at Critical Hearing
Posted by Staff on June 27, 2014

WASHINGTON -- The House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday held an in-depth, day-long hearing focused on the Export-Import Bank.

The Washington Post - Fred Hochberg, chairman of the “embattled” Export-Import Bank, “refused to answer repeated questions” about whether he was aware of a criminal investigation being conducted into bank officials who are accused of corruption and taking kickbacks. The allegations “turned a harsher light on the agency – and fueled the arguments of the bank’s long-standing critics.”

The Daily Caller - There is “a history of reforms being ignored” at the Bank. “Strong questions about Ex-Im’s accountability were also raised” at the hearing. While Ex-Im claims it supports jobs and returns money to the taxpayers, “none of these arguments withstand scrutiny,” a witness countered.

The Guardian - The last time Congress reauthorized Ex-Im in 2012, “Congress insisted on reforms that, critics argue, were not fully implemented.” The CEO of Delta Air Lines pointed out that “state-run airlines owned by rich foreign governments” are being subsidized by U.S. taxpayers through Ex-Im.

Salon - Liberals like President Obama used to condemn Ex-Im “as a slush fund that allows the government to fund a series of nasty activities."  Now “Democrats have rushed to Ex-Im’s aid,” ignoring their earlier criticisms, for example, of “how Enron…benefitted from $675 million in Ex-Im loans.”

Washington Examiner - Victims of Ex-Im include “domestic competitors of the very few U.S. businesses to get subsidy exports,” including U.S. semiconductor makers who compete against foreign semiconductor makers “who get Ex-Im subsidies.”
NPR - Committee members noted Ex-Im “sends taxpayer dollars to economic competitors of the U.S., that its loan guarantees amount to crony capitalism and that its biggest beneficiaries are some of the biggest multinational companies” in the world.

Reuters - Ex-Im’s future was cast into doubt after it was held up as “an example of corporate cronyism that benefits multi-nationals at the expense of taxpayers and many small companies.” Also discussed at the hearing was a report that four Ex-Im officials “had been suspended or removed” after investigators began looking “into charges of improper gifts and kickbacks.”
AP - Wednesday’s hearing began with criticism that Ex-Im gives foreign airlines “a competitive advantage,” unfarily using the “full faith and credit of the United States” to “the detriment of U.S. companies and their employees.”


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