MEMBERS of the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC), during a hearing scheduled on Wednesday, will try to sit down with Fred Hochberg, Export-Import Bank president, and iron out crucial details with his backers as well as detractors on whether the bank will remain as a “corporate necessity or corporate welfare” — as a September 30 deadline nears to extend the financial institution’s authority.
A sudden transformation in the House Republican – commonly referred to as the Grand Old Party – leadership has put the bank in danger of being shut down.
Export-Import Bank has helped major corporations like General Electric Co, Boeing Co, and thousands of other companies in the United States to market or sell their services or products overseas for eight decades.
According to Export-Import Bank opponents, led by high-profile conservatives, its $27 billion in total yearly loans and export funding for foreign buyers to acquire American-made consumer products are tantamount to “crony capitalism.”
House conservatives claim this type of capitalism only makes corporations richer, while sending taxpayers in the doldrums for possible losses of as much as $140 billion in the coming years.
According to Heritage Foundation regulatory policy research fellow Diane Katz, even if Export-Import Bank were functioning properly, it is just not the proper role of the federal government to be engaged in the financing business.
Katz added that there is absolutely no proof that there is any kind of mismanagement taking place in the export business.
Critics also maintain that the bank is not being properly run, allegations that were taken seriously by government in the midst of a report that four bank officials have been removed or put on suspension as part of a probe into ongoing anomalies.
Meanwhile, supporters of the bank, which include US Pres. Barack Obama and other large corporate entities, argue that Export-Import Bank plays a significant part in counterbalancing similar export funding from European countries and other nations.