Vampiric Ex-Im Bank, supporters reigniting reauthorization debate
DENVER—Supporters of cronyism are now re-urging members of Congress to reauthorize the corrupt Export-Import Bank, reigniting the debate as Congress is readying to return to session.
According to the Denver Business Journal, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., called the reauthorization a “no-brainer” and Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., noted that, “many other countries have the same tools in place.” Rep. Ken Buck, D-Colo., said the bank is, “a type of corporate welfare.”
“The vampiric Ex-Im Bank and its supporters can be defeated again and again, and the more attention drawn to this issue the worse it is for the bank’s supporters. The truth about the bank is like garlic,” said Jonathan Lockwood, executive director of free market advocacy group. “Die-hard support for this bank is like pushing the pedal to the metal, for more corruption, fraud and abuse at Coloradans’ expense.”
Last month, in a rare Sunday session, Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., voted to advance legislation that would reauthorize the recently expired Export-Import Bank through Sept. 30, 2019. The Senate voted to attach a revival of the Export-Import Bank to the highway funding bill.
There have been investigations linked to corruption surrounding the bank including 792 separate claims involving more than $500 million dollars. The Ex-Im acting Inspector General revealed this year that other Ex-Im Bank employees are currently being investigated for fraud as well.
The Ex-Im Bank guaranteed Citibank $92 million in September 2014. Citigroup, Citibank’s parent company, contributed $44,300 to Bennet. Steptoe and Johnson, another donor to Bennet, makes guarantees available through the Ex-Im Bank. In addition Steptoe and Johnson donated $36,600 to Bennet. It continues: Hogan Lovells, League of Conservation Voters, and Akin, Gump, et al, all have ties to the Ex-Im Bank, all advocate for its reauthorization, and all supported Bennet totaling $141,386 in contributions. Kirkland and Ellis donated $47,084 to Bennet as well.
The Ex-Im Bank’s Colorado failures were highly publicized when taxpayers subsidized Boulder-based solar firm, Abound, with more than $9 million so they could sell solar panels to India. That amount was on top of the $400 million loan from the department of energy. The company received its Ex-Im Bank funds right before it went bankrupt and laid off hundreds of Colorado workers, left thousands of gallons of toxic waste pooling across the state and left a long list of creditors from Longmont to Germany.
The Ex-Im Bank has also given taxpayer funds to foreign oil companies totaling billions of dollars. Through the Ex-Im Bank, taxpayer funds have gone to countries like the Congo and Sudan, both known for human rights violations. The bank has financed Chinese power plants and has given money to Russian billionaires.