H R 597: Export-Import Bank
Vote Date: October 27, 2015 Vote: AYE Bad Vote.
This bill (H.R. 597), the Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015, would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter through fiscal 2019. Additionally,the bill would reduce the limit on the Ex-Im Bank’s outstanding loans, guarantees,and insurance from $140 billion to $135 billion, as well as prohibit the bank from issuing new loans if the default rate reaches two percent. Under the new charter,the Ex-Im Bank would be required to increase the amount of its financing dedicated to small businesses from 20 to 25 percent,and be subject to a Government Accountability Office audit every four years.

The House passed H.R. 597 on October 27, 2015 by a vote of 313 to 118 (Roll Call 576). We have assigned pluses to the nays because the Export-Import Bank is a poster boy for corporate cronyism. The government finances or insures foreign purchases from U.S. companies that commercial banks are unwilling or unable to finance owing to the political or commercial risks inherent in the deals, leaving taxpayers on the hook in the event of default. Constitutionally speaking, the U.S. government should not be underwriting private businesses at taxpayers’ expense, regardless of whether or not such businesses are small,“mom and pop” companies.