Majority Leader McCarthy Walking Back Opposition To Ex-Im Bank

Days after being named the new House majority leader congressman Kevin McCarthy(R-CA) went on Fox News Sunday and was asked about the upcoming(Sept) deadline to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, something seen by most critics as a textbook example of crony capitalism.

McCarthy told Chris Wallace that he did support allowing the Ex-Im Bank’s authorization to expire.

From FNS’s transcript:

WALLACE: Authority for the Export-Import Bank, which backs, supports, helps encourage the selling of U.S. products overseas, expires in September. Do you agree with conservatives who say that the Export-Import Bank is a form of crony capitalism and it should be put out of business, allowed to expire?

MCCARTHY: One of the problems with government is it’s going to take hard earned money so others do things that the private sector can do. That’s what Ex-Im Bank does. The last authorization of the Ex-Im Bank directed the president and the treasury secretary to wind down the Ex-Im bank, negotiate with other countries, to wind them down so we have a level playing field.

We’ve got hearings going on next week in financial service, which I sit on. I think Ex-Im Bank is one that government does not have to be involved in. The private sector can do it.

WALLACE: So straightforward question, you can say it right here. You would allow the Ex-Im Bank to expire in September?

MCCARTHY: Yes, because it’s something that the private sector can be able to do.

On Sunday Majority Leader McCarthy was singing a different tune when asked about the Ex-Im Bank by Chris Kaergard of the Peoria Journal-Star.

McCarthy’s new line is that the Export-Import Bank should be reauthorized with reforms.

From the PJS:

McCarthy also used a question-and-answer session before the brunch to discuss his position on the Export-Import Bank, an issue that’s been of some concern to companies, including Caterpillar Inc., that have a large global trading presence.

The charter of the 80-year-old bank is due to expire in September, and McCarthy suggested last month that he was in favor letting that happen.

Opponents of the bank have argued it distorts the free market through the aid that’s offered, including to large and well-connected companies, and that private banks can offer the financing as well as government. Proponents have pointed to its ability to return a profit to the U.S. Treasury and to hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs supported by the trade it encourages.

McCarthy said he recently spoke to Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman “on ways we can improve it” and pushed the idea of finding reforms.

“We want to make sure there’s greater accountability,” he said, noting the departure of four employees recently in corruption-related investigations.

But he suggested that the bank’s time may have passed.

“If the private sector can fill that void, the private sector should fill that void,” he said. “It was only created as a bank of a last resort. You’ve got (Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based Emirates Airlines) buying planes from Boeing that the taxpayers of America are guaranteeing. Is that right?

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