CCAGW Urges Opposition to H.R. 4863 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Opposition to H.R. 4863

Letters to Officials

November 14, 2019

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to reject vote against H.R. 4863, the United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019.

The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank was created during the Great Depression by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 in an effort to encourage U.S. exports.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent government agency that provides taxpayer-backed direct loans, guarantees, and export credit insurance to private firms and foreign governments. This taxpayer money is used to subsidize borrowing by firms of which the majority are already profitable and would have no trouble borrowing without the subsidy.

H.R. 4863, sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), would reauthorize the bank for an unprecedented ten years while weakening the bank’s oversight.

This legislation would allow Ex-Im to provide, for the first time, U.S. taxpayer money to companies owned and controlled by China. These entities include Chinese state-owned companies that work for the Chinese military and are accused of a litany of human rights abuses.

Further, H.R. 4863 includes a change to the standards of a quorum by automatically making the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury, along with the U.S. Trade Representative, board members of the bank when a quorum isn't otherwise present. Currently, if Ex-Im lacks a quorum of Senate-confirmed board of directors, it prevents the board from approving deals valued at more than $10 million. Historically, these lack of quorum periods have benefitted smaller businesses at the expense of larger corporations. Rep. Waters’ legislation would all but ensure that only larger profitable corporations benefit from Ex-Im going forward.

H.R. 4863 also dictates that at least five percent of Ex-Im’s annual lending promotes renewable energy. Since the onset of renewable energy subsidies in the 1970s, the federal government has allotted tens of billions of dollars to the cause, including tax credits and loan guarantees.  Despite this, there remains no comprehensive evaluation of exactly how much total renewables have cost taxpayers, or an evaluation of the benefits taxpayers have gotten for their efforts. Creating renewable subsidies into perpetuity would be a money pit.

I encourage you to reject Rep. Waters’ ill thought legislation. All votes on H.R. 4863 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2019 Congressional Ratings.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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