Paul Ryan On Ex-Im: ‘Just Let It Go’

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Peter Fricke Contributor
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Paul Ryan reiterated Thursday his desire to see the Export-Import Bank close, saying, “I think we should let it expire. Just let it go. Absolutely.”

In a press release, free-market advocacy group Club for Growth lauded the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee for his comments, which add to the growing chorus of Ex-Im opposition coming from Republican presidential candidates and congressional leaders.

“Paul Ryan has been a steady voice calling for an end to the Export-Import Bank, and its corporate welfare,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. “Like Congressman Ryan, we say of Ex-Im: ‘let it go.'”

“Ex-Im is another example of government trying to do what the private sector does best, and doing it badly,” he added. (RELATED: Small Business Becomes Pawn in Ex-Im’s Fate)

McIntosh also noted that Ryan is far from alone in his opposition to the bank, a position shared by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling, and six Republican presidential candidates— former Gov. Jeb Bush; governors Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, and Scott Walker; and Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Ryan had previously supported efforts to kill the bank last summer, according to The Daily Signal, telling reporters that, “I want to get rid of it,” and calling Ex-Im “a pretty obvious example of cronyism.”

Ryan also called on other conservatives to join the fight, Heritage Action reported, arguing that, “Cronyism is the Progressives’ project for economic control. Let them defend it.” (RELATED: Conservatives Split on Export-Import Bank)

“My friend Rep. Jeb Hensarling has recently launched a great challenge against the crony capitalist economy, and in particular, against one of its manifestations, the Export-Import Bank,” Ryan said, adding that, “the bank is just one example of how bureaucratic government is corrupting free enterprise through and through.”

Only recently, though, have many Republicans begun to heed Ryan’s call. Last September, House Speaker John Boehner succeeded in extending Ex-Im’s lifespan, at least temporarily, by engineering a short-term extension that keeps the bank in business until June 30 as part of the Cromnibus government-funding bill.

The bank’s opponents are optimistic that this time around, without the distractions of combating the Islamic State and averting a government shutdown to complicate the issue, Congress will be less likely to reauthorize Ex-Im before its charter expires. (RELATED: Is the Export-Import Bank Done?)

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