Legislative Trickery on ExIm Bank
This week, the Senate will take up a version of the House-passed JOBS Act (H.R.3606). According to CQ (sub. req’d) there will be some key differences:
By including the Ex-Im reauthorization, the Senate also is significantly expanding the scope of the debate. Obama has pressed for the proposal in recent weeks, but congressional conservatives, including tea party allies, have taken issue with the tiny government agency that finances the purchase of U.S.-made goods overseas when private loans are unavailable or unaffordable.
The bank is expected to hit its $100 billion lending cap by the end of March, and the administration and major business firms are pushing lawmakers to lift the cap in addition to reauthorizing the agency before its charter expires in late May.
But tea party allies and economic conservatives say the program primarily benefits Boeing and a relatively select group of big-ticket companies that should not need government help.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board came out swinging against the reauthorization:
If you thought Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Solyndra would teach Congress a lesson about politicized credit, think again. The federal Export-Import Bank is up for reauthorization, and the only question seems to be how much more taxpayer money Washington wants to put at risk.
Leave it to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to insert a very controversial reauthorization measure into a bill that passed the House 390 to 23.