Issa subpoenas for Ex-Im records

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaChamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch Ex-RNC, Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy charged in covert lobbying scheme DCCC reserves new ad buys in competitive districts, adds new members to 'Red to Blue' program MORE (R-Calif.) subpoenaed Export-Import Bank President Fred Hochberg on Friday for refusing to meet House Republican requests for transcripts of the bank’s meetings.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingLawmakers battle over future of Ex-Im Bank House passes Ex-Im Bank reboot bill opposed by White House, McConnell Has Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? MORE (R-Texas) in August requested that Ex-Im officials submit transcripts of their Board of Directors meetings since 2012.


Hochberg has refused, arguing that the information is confidential. Hochberg submitted thousands of pages to Hensarling, but 50 percent of those pages were redacted, according to a spokesman for Issa’s committee.

“The Bank redacted virtually every discussion among directors and staff exploring why the Bank could lawfully participate in specific financing transactions,” Issa wrote in a letter notifying Hochberg of the subpoena.

House Republicans have put the bank in the hot seat in recent months, with the Financial Services and Oversight committees sending about 20 letters requesting documents and testimony.

"To date, the Bank has responded to nearly all of these letters, producing tens of thousands of documents responsive to these requests, and we will continue to work diligently to respond to the remaining two letters," Ex-Im spokesman Brad Carroll said.

Carroll said that Ex-Im officials take "both Committees' oversight responsibilities seriously and will continue to work in good faith to respond to the Committees' requests."

Ex-Im officials say that limited redactions were made to protect sensitive, business confidential information that if released would result in the loss of American jobs. They say the information pertains to confidential proprietary and trade secret information.

Bank officials have declined to submit for formal interviews as was requested, but have offered to brief their staffs.

Issa was joined on the letter by Hensarling as well as Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

The lawmakers say they need the meeting minutes to thoroughly review the bank's request for reauthorization.

Hensarling and other conservatives oppose the bank. They argue it’s a form of crony capitalism designed to help big businesses like Boeing. 

Centrist Republicans and most Democrats support the bank, saying it helps sustain U.S. jobs and finances American companies looking to make inroads in emerging markets.

The bank's charter was up for reauthorization earlier this year, and Hensarling reluctantly agreed to a short-term extension that was tied to a stopgap measure to keep the government open through Dec. 11.

The bank's charter was extended through the end of June, when the new Congress will once again have to debate the issue.