Conservative groups urge ‘no’ votes on OPIC renewal

Two conservatives groups are urging lawmakers to vote against a measure that includes a reauthorization of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

Club for Growth and Heritage Action each said Wednesday that they will key vote the the Electrify Africa Act (H.R. 2548) because it contains a three-year reauthorization for the agency.

{mosads}A vote is expected on the measure, which is on the suspension calendar, on House floor later Wednesday.

In a note to congressional offices, Club for Growth said OPIC is the lesser known cousin of the Export-Import Bank and “it’s a government agency that puts taxpayers on the hook through loans, loan guarantees and insurance policies to private companies and projects.”

“It is yet another example of the government picking winners and losers in the private sector,” wrote Andy Roth, the Club’s vice president of government affairs.  

“The House should deny reauthorization of OPIC and terminate its charter immediately.”

Heritage said it has opposed OPIC for decades because it puts taxpayers at risk.

Bryan Riley, a senior trade policy analyst at Heritage, compared OPIC to the Export-Import Bank, writing that they “should not receive taxpayer backing.”

“OPIC shifts risk to U.S. taxpayers while denying them a commensurate share of the returns,” he said.

He said the original vision for OPIC was based on encouraging private-sector investment in developing countries but makes little sense now when there are other private-sector alternatives.

Tags Club for Growth Export-Import Bank Heritage Action Overseas Private Investment Corporation

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