Club for Growth, Heritage raise pressure on McCarthy to oppose Ex-Im

Club for Growth, Heritage raise pressure on McCarthy to oppose Ex-Im
© Greg Nash

Two conservative groups are urging House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate Rep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman MORE (R-Calif.) not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). 

Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham and Club For Growth President Chris Chocola sent a letter to McCarthy on Monday urging him to stand by comments he made in June opposing the bank’s reauthorization.

“[W]e hope you will stand strong and work with conservatives in Congress and across the country in letting the bank expire,” Needham and Chocola wrote.

“As the new Majority Leader of the House, now is the time for you to provide leadership to the Republican conference and reaffirm your admirable opposition to the Export-Import Bank," they add.

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"The Export-Import Bank is a small thing, this we know," the letter continues. "But Leader McCarthy, if you can’t start with the Export-Import Bank, then how can Americans trust the Republican Party to tackle the big challenges our nation faces after six years of President Obama and his failed policies?" 

In June, McCarthy said that he would not support the renewing the bank’s charter, saying, “Ex-Im is something that the government does not have to be involved in; the private sector can do it.”

McCarthy said he would defer to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), a vocal critic of the bank, on the issue.

Conservatives such as Hensarling argue that the bank is corporate welfare. Most centrist Republicans and Democrats, though, say it is an important tool that helps sustain U.S. jobs and boost exports.

"Hensarling has done great work exposing the bank, but he needs Leadership not just backing him up, but leading," the letter from Club from Growth and Heritage Action concludes.

Congress must reauthorize the Bank before Sept. 30, or it will shut down.

Most industry observers expect a reauthorization of the Bank to be part of a short-term budget agreement Congress must pass in order to keep the government open past September.