Lawmaker’s Company Received Corporate Welfare from Ex-Im Bank

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) 49% supports the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which comes as no surprise once you know that he’s benefited from its activities.  The Hill reports:

Heritage Action criticized Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) on Monday for his company’s benefiting from the Export Import Bank, saying it is an example of “Washington working for itself.”

Collins’ is a co-founder and serves on the board of directors for Audubon Machinery Corporation, which reported a combined capital guarantee and trade insurance worth $8.33 million between 2007 and 2014, according to Ex-Im records.

Collins has been circulating a letter among his colleagues urging House GOP leadership to reauthorize Ex-Im, which expires in September. The letter is endorsed by The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Collins reported $1 million and $5 million in year-end value of owned Audubon stock in financial disclosures filed in April 2013.

The signatories on Collins’ letter include:

  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) 52%
  • Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-LA) 63%
  • Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) 56%
  • Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) 50%
  • Rep. John Campbell (R-CA)
  • Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC)
  • Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) 41%
  • Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) 49%
  • Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) 53%
  • Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) 41%
  • Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) 29%
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) 35%
  • Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA)
  • Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) 39%
  • Rep. Mike Grimm (R-NY)
  • Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) 64%
  • Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) 69%
  • Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA)
  • Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) 47%
  • Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) 52%
  • Rep. Peter King (R-NY) 38%
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) 39%
  • Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)
  • Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) 33%
  • Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) 75%
  • Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) 61%
  • Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA)
  • Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) 36%
  • Rep. John Mica (R-FL) 64%
  • Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA)
  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) 68%
  • Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) 39%
  • Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) 33%
  • Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) 76%
  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)
  • Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ)
  • Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL)
  • Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) 46%
  • Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) 52%
  • Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) 33%
  • Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) 66%

By signing onto this letter, these lawmakers are expressing their willingness to support corporate welfare for big businesses, foreign companies and hostile governments.  Ex-Im often claims that supporting small businesses is at the heart of their mission, but that claim is not supported by the fact that small business financing accounts for a mere 19 percent of Ex-Im’s portfolio.

These lawmakers are also ignoring the CBO report estimating the Ex-Im Bank will cost taxpayers $2 billion over the next decade.

They also don’t seem to care about waste, fraud, and abuse, against which the Bank is not properly protected:

Both the GAO and the Inspector General have warned that Ex-Im’s “loan-loss rate” is suspect and that the bank is not properly protected against waste, fraud and abuse. Ex-Im’s bases this risk assessment on a notoriously unreliable accounting methodology; the Bank has long refused to transition to the fair-value method that private banks are required to use. 

Of all U.S. exports in 2013, only 2.2 percent received Ex-Im financing.  Considering the risk to taxpayers imposed by the Ex-Im Bank, and the negligible “benefits,” there is no justification for its existence.  

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