Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2011 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2011

Letters to Officials

February 28, 2012

U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator,

Senator Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has introduced S. 1547, the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2011. This legislation would reauthorize the market-distorting Export-Import Bank, an agency set up to pick winners and losers in the private sector. On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to oppose this legislation.

The Export-Import Bank was created during the Great Depression by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934 in order “to aid the exchange of commodities and services between the United States and any foreign country or the agencies or nationals of any such country.” Today, the Bank uses taxpayer money to subsidize borrowing by firms both in America and abroad, most of which are profitable and would have no trouble borrowing without the subsidy.

According to the Cato Institute, the Export-Import Bank “merely displaces private investment by funding ventures that would otherwise have taken place. Moreover, the vast bulk of the Bank's financing goes to very large corporations that do not need handouts from taxpayers.” Companies that receive low-cost loans from the Export-Import Bank include Boeing, Halliburton, Chevron, Caterpillar, and Dell. Critics have called it the “Reverse Robin Hood” because it takes money from taxpayers and distributes it to rich corporations. The Bank has also often been called “Boeing’s Bank” since it guarantees or directly makes a large number of loans to that manufacturer.

The Export-Import bank is a salient example of corporate welfare and is included in CCAGW’s Prime Cuts database, a compendium of 691 waste-cutting recommendations that would save taxpayers $391.9 billion in the first year and $1.8 trillion over five years. According to Prime Cuts, shutting down the Export-Import Bank would save taxpayers $189 million in one year and $945 million over five years. I urge you to oppose the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2011. All votes on S. 1547 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2012 Congressional Ratings.


Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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