Club for Growth opposes Ex-Im provision on the spending bill

Club for Growth opposes Ex-Im provision on the spending bill
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The conservative Club for Growth on Thursday opposed adding a lifeline to the continuing resolution (CR) that would give the Export-Import Bank the ability to make larger loans again.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh said the move to temporarily reduce the number of Ex-Im board members needed for a quorum, which would provide the agency with the ability to make loans above $10 million, would relinquish more power to the Obama administration. 

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“This is cronyism working behind the backs of the American people to protect more cronyism,” McIntosh said in a statement. 

"Congress should not be a party to any effort to use the insider game of attaching language to a continuing resolution funding bill in order to create those new rules that give more power to the Obama administration,” he said.

Business groups and supportive congressional lawmakers are urging House and Senate leaders to include the provision in a spending bill that would keep the government running into December.

The amendment — approved as part of House and Senate state-foreign operations spending bills — would reduce the number of people needed for a quorum on the five-member board from three to two. 

“It’s no secret that the Export-Import Bank is simply Washington bureaucrats providing favors for a handful of big corporations," McIntosh said.

"And, when Washington insiders don’t like the rules they’re forced to live by, including rules that limit how much Ex-Im can put taxpayers on the hook for, they change the rules," he said. 

The push comes amid a stalemate with Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who has blocked previous attempts to vote on Mark McWatters, who was nominated to the Bank's board by President Obama in January.

"The CR process is almost always a mess, with members of Congress habitually looking to load up the bill with their pet projects,” McIntosh said.  

"House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP super PAC drops .5 million on Nevada ad campaign Blue wave poses governing risks for Dems Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests MORE [R-Wis.] needs to hold the line. He’s opposed the Export-Import Bank before, and he should make it clear that there will be no Ex-Im riders on the CR.”

Conservatives were successful in stopping the bank from taking new business for six months last year.

But supportive Democrats and Republicans in both chambers got the agency up and running before the end of 2015.

The bank has gone more than a year without being able to take action on larger deals.

During that time, more than 30 transactions worth more than $20 billion have gotten stuck in the pipeline, according to the agency.