Strategy

Six GOP Senators Call For Liquidation of Ex-Im Bank

Having lost its congressional authority to perform new activities, it's time for Ex-Im to wind down, say the senators.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJuly 2, 2015

Six Republican Senators, including three running for president — Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul — Wednesday called upon Export-Import Bank chairman Fred Hochberg for a liquidation plan, now that the agency’s charter has expired and it can no longer make new loans, issue bonds, or offer trade insurance unless Congress re-authorizes those functions.

In the senators’ letter to Hochberg, the six requested a report on which employees are participating in the orderly liquidation and why it is necessary that certain people remain employed during an orderly liquidation.

They also asked for: a report on the dissolution of Ex-Im’s board of directors; the return of Ex-Im’s properties to the General Services Administration; an end to the administration of www.exim.gov; continued servicing of existing Ex-Im loans, obligations that have not completely matured, direct loans, and loan guarantees acquired or issued before sunset date; and an estimate of savings on federal funding through Sept. 30, through the orderly liquidation and wind-down of the Ex-Im Bank’s operations.

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“We respectfully request which agency will be deemed your successor agency and, additionally, would like the estimated payments of obligations incurred,” the senators wrote. “We would appreciate a timely response on these important questions by July 15.”

Joining the presidential candidates in writing the letter were Mike Lee (R-UT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

A Reuters article Wednesday said conservative Republicans scored a partial victory when Congress failed to re-authorize Ex-Im’s charter before it expired June 30, contending the agency promotes “crony capitalism” and interferes in free markets by subsidizing large, politically connected companies. However Democrats and moderate Republicans hope to revive the agency later this month by attaching charter-renewal legislation to a “must-pass” highway and rail transit funding bill.

“If the Senate passes legislation to put Ex-Im back in business, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said he would bring it to the floor for a vote,” Reuters wrote. “But he would give opponents in that chamber ample opportunity to attack it through amendments.”