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Hensarling: To support more robust economic growth, economic justice and equal opportunity for all, it is time to wind down Ex-Im.

Washington, June 3, 2015 -


Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee hearing to examine the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization request.  This is the committee’s third hearing on Ex-Im this year:

I begin my comments by admitting that Republicans on my side of the aisle are split on the issue of Ex-Im reauthorization. I certainly respect the arguments of those who support H.R. 597 and I look forward to continuing our principled debate.  I do understand one person’s corporate welfare and politically-driven capital allocation is another person’s vital export support program and level playing field.

However, understanding my Democratic colleagues’ arguments is far more challenging.

They claim Ex-Im is essential to supporting jobs.  But I would ask most of my Democratic friends:  Where was your concern for jobs when you voted for Obamacare – which, according to the Congressional Budget Office, is going to lead to 2½ million fewer jobs in our economy?

Where was your concern for jobs when your party voted against the Keystone pipeline and the 42,000 jobs the State Department says are connected to it?

Where was your concern for 45,000 jobs when most of your caucus voted against legislation to advance construction of LNG export projects?

Democrats claim Ex-Im is essential to U.S. trade, but almost 99 percent of all U.S. exports are financed without Ex-Im.  If my Democratic friends are so concerned about trade, why are so many of them opposing Trade Promotion Authority? No less a Democrat than President Obama himself says TPA will create more jobs and expand opportunities for middle income Americans.

The National Association of Manufacturers reports that over half of the structural cost disadvantage suffered by Americans exporters comes from our corporate tax system.

Yet few, if any, Democrats support a fairer, flatter tax system much less reducing our corporate tax rate, the highest in the industrialized world.

Now, how many times have we heard Democrats vilify Wall Street banks?  Yet the big banks profit off Ex-Im like few others.  The latest data I’ve seen shows JP Morgan Chase received $5.1 billion in assistance, Citigroup $1½ billion, Wells Fargo half a billion dollars, and HSBC almost $1 billion.

They all profit from Ex-Im, and as far as I can see, they all vigorously support its reauthorization. After all, they have hardworking taxpayers to bail out any Wall Street losses.  As one Citigroup managing director recently said, “There’s nothing that a commercial bank loves more than guaranteed financing.”  Another Wall Street banker was quoted in the press saying Ex-Im’s guarantees are “free money” for the big banks.  By reauthorizing Ex-Im, my Democratic colleagues are simply throwing Wall Street a big, wet kiss.

Just six weeks ago the Ranking Member asked the question, “Why is it that the richest of the folks in the businesses in this country, who have so many paid lobbyists … [are] able to direct the public policy in ways the average citizen cannot do?”

Boeing, which receives fully one-third of Ex-Im’s support, spent $35 million in lobbying expenses in the last Congress to help keep Ex-Im afloat. Their top 5 executives made $48.6 million in 2013 alone.

The public reports from the other top beneficiaries of Ex-Im like GE, Caterpillar, Exxon Mobil look pretty similar.  So I would say to my friend the Ranking Member, perhaps their paid lobbying is so successful and their executives are getting so rich because you’re doing everything you can to help them.

To support more robust economic growth, economic justice, and equal opportunity for all, it is time to wind down Ex-Im.

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