Politics

Conservative Opposition To Ex-Im Bank Hits Fever Pitch

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Conservative opposition to the Export-Import Bank reached a fever pitch Tuesday, as dozens of organizations joined Charles and David Koch-backed Freedom Partners to demand an end to the bank in a letter to Congress.

The bank’s stated mission is to make it easier for U.S. businesses to export goods by providing financing deemed impossible or too risky by the market, with the goal of helping the U.S. economy. But critics say it amounts to international corporate welfare funded by U.S. taxpayers.

The Kochs, who are major backers of Freedom Partners, might endorse a Republican presidential candidate in the primary race for the first time this year, and have made it clear that opposition to the bank is a step toward winning their high-value endorsement. The large coalition of organizations are helping to push a dry Washington issue further toward political reality. (RELATED: Jeb To Audition For Koch Endorsement)

If Congress does not act, the bank will expire June 30.

“By paying foreign companies to buy American exports, the Export-Import Bank tilts the playing field away from mid-sized and small businesses in favor of large, politically connected corporations,” the letter says.

The bank costs Americans jobs and jeopardizes billions of taxpayer dollars, the coalition writes, citing a Congressional Budget Office report that it will cost taxpayers $2 billion over the next decade. (RELATED: Pubs Smack Down Sneaky Dem Move On Ex-Im)

“These risky loans and poor accounting practices are harmful to taxpayers, who are left footing the bill,” the letter adds. “America deserves an international trade policy that is based on free-market mechanisms, not paying foreign companies to buy exports from large corporations with political connections.”

More than 50 organizations joined Freedom Partners in signing the letter demanding Congress to let the bank expire– nearly double the number since last year.

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