American Bridge slams Kochs over Ex-Im

The policy arm of the liberal super-PAC American Bridge is attacking Charles and David Koch for opposing reauthorization of the the Export-Import Bank, arguing the conservative billionaires are trying to kill the agency for financial gain.

American Bridge's Bridge Project released a report dubbed "Banking on Obstruction," which portrays Koch Industries as opposing Ex-Im in order to hurt its business rivals.

"Koch profits behind the opposition to Ex-Im," says the report, which was first obtained by The Hill.

ADVERTISEMENT
The report says Koch-owned companies have received modest financing benefits from the bank when compared to Koch's competitors.

Koch-owned companies received $16.2 million in financing from Ex-Im, the report says, while rivals of the company received a total of $19.4 billion.

"Opposition to reauthorization may serve to benefit the Kochs financially," the report says. "Research demonstrates that Koch opposition to the bank may be less about ideology and more about self-interest."

The report attributes the growing opposition to Ex-Im among Republicans "to advocacy by the Koch founded and controlled Americans for Prosperity, a leader in opposition to reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank."

Conservatives are already pushing back against the report and against American Bridge, which was founded by David Brock, an ally of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down Signs grow that Mueller is zeroing in on Roger Stone Omarosa claims president called Trump Jr. a 'f--- up' for releasing Trump Tower emails MORE.

Levi Russell, spokesman for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), said that "it should be no surprise that AFP opposes an institution rife with corruption and scandal that boosts corporate profits at the expense of hard-working taxpayers."

"The left's unhealthy obsession with Koch is nothing if not predictable," Russell said. "Americans for Prosperity opposes Ex-Im for the same reasons Senator Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFalwell Jr.: Sessions and Rosenstein ‘deceived’ Trump into appointing them and should ‘rot’ in jail The Trump economy is destroying the Obama coalition Charlottesville and the failure of moral leadership MORE did when he called it 'corporate welfare'" when he was campaigning for president during the 2008 cycle.”

Dan Holler, spokesman for the conservative Heritage Action, dubbed American Bridge a "seedy Democrat opposition research firm."

"Apparently, the group shills for corporate welfare in its spare time," Holler said.

The business community is pressing moderate Republicans and Democrats to back reauthorization of the bank. They've argued that small businesses benefit through the supply chain when the bank finances larger corporations.

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton argued for the bank's reauthorization during a recent campaign appearance in New Hampshire, calling opposition to the agency “embarrassing.”

Tea Party groups like Heritage and Americans For Prosperity have pressed Republicans to oppose reauthorizing the bank's charter, which once enjoyed bipartisan support and not faces an uncertain future in Congress.

They have argued that the bank picks winners and losers when it chooses which corporations to finance overseas.

Top-tier declared and soon-to-be-declared Republican presidential candidates such as Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFlorida questions Senate chairman over claim that Russians have ‘penetrated’ election systems A paid leave plan cannot make you choose between kids or retirement New sanctions would hurt Russia — but hurt American industry more MORE (R-Fla.), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former-Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush all oppose renewing the bank.