Koch-backed group to recognize Hensarling

Koch-backed group to recognize Hensarling

A group backed by billionaire Republican donors Charles and David Koch will award Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingHas Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? Maxine Waters is the Wall Street sheriff the people deserve Ex-GOP congressman heads to investment bank MORE (R-Texas) on Friday for his opposition to the Export-Import Bank.

Hensarling will receive Americans for Prosperity’s “Washington Award” at the group’s summit in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, where GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush will make an address.

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The award is the latest example of Hensarling receiving credit from conservatives for his work against the Export-Import Bank. Congress did not renew the bank’s charter at the end of June partly because of Hensarling’s efforts. Supporters of the bank hope to win its renewal this fall.

AFP president Tim Phillips in an interview said the group’s award is meant to recognize “someone who has made outstanding contributions to the fight for economic freedoms and individual liberty.” He credited Hensarling with playing a crucial role in opposing “Washington cronyism and corporate welfare, most notably in his opposition to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.”

AFP opposes Ex-Im, which offers support for overseas investments that are intended to increase U.S. trade. Big business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have called for it to be renewed, but opponents argue the U.S. government should get out of the export financing business.

Hensarling, 58, is seen as a possible successor to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) if Boehner does not seek reelection to his leadership position.

“We don't get involved in leadership contests within the House or Senate caucuses,” Phillips said. “Certainly though, there are a lot of people looking at Chairman Hensarling as a member with broader potential in leadership.”

Phillips also praised Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who will also be recognized at the forum this weekend with the same award. Jordan has also been seen as a possible Boehner successor.