Skip to comments.Hoyer: Only Hensarling Blocking Export-Import Bank Reauthorization
Posted on 06/18/2014 1:15:16 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Theres only one member of the Republican Party holding up reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, according to Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer: Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.
I dont think theres any doubt [he's] the one holding it up, the Maryland Democrat told reporters at his weekly press briefing Tuesday morning. Its not an impression. Its a fact.
Hoyer went on to say that House GOP leaders, particularly outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, want to reauthorize the institution designed to help U.S. companies finance goods for sale overseas. The two lawmakers actually worked closely together at the time of the last reauthorization to bring a bill to the floor, Hoyer said.
Opponents of the Ex-Im Bank dismiss the institution as an anachronistic corporate slush fund rife with cronyism, and they have an ally in Hensarling, who heads up the committee of jurisdiction.
Hoyer said Cantor communicated to him that he told Mr. Hensarling [that] he has to make his cause to the caucus.
However, Hensarling has yet to schedule a hearing or a markup on the issue, though he said in a statement in late April that he would in the coming months give Members an opportunity to publicly debate the merits of the Bank. Another unpromising sign for Ex-Im Bank advocates was a speech at the Heritage Foundation in May, where Hensarling called for every Republican to support the banks expiration.
If House Republican leaders are committed to reauthorizing the bank despite Hensarlings opposition or in the event he chooses to do nothing at the committee level, they could override him as they did with flood insurance legislation earlier this year, even though they would surely anger hard-line conservatives on and off Capitol Hill.
Hoyer said he hoped leaders were prepared to go that route, and that Cantor, even as a member of the rank and file, will be a positive influence on moving the legislation forward.
Hes here for another six months, Hoyer said. Hes a very influential member of his caucus and he could be a very positive force in this caucus.
It has never, however, been clear that Cantor or others were willing to put their necks on the line regarding the Ex-Im Bank. Instead, Cantor and others in leadership have continued to defer to Hensarling to buy time thats rapidly running out. Cantor did not make any mention of the bank reauthorization in his memo outlining Junes legislative agenda, and theres no indication that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, widely expected to succeed Cantor as majority leader, would champion the cause.
Industry lobbyists downtown are already worrying about what Cantors departure from the leadership table will mean for the banks reauthorization.
Hensarlings office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a speech that is almost certain to stoke speculation he is running for House speaker, Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling slammed Washington insiders and special interests during an address at the Heritage Foundation Tuesday.
Less than two hours after the Heritage Foundation suffered one of its harshest congressional rebukes ever more representatives broke from the advice of Heritage Action than ever before, with only four Republicans voting against a water resources bill Hensarling came to Heritages Massachusetts Avenue offices to praise the foundation and condemn a boogeyman called Washington, D.C.
The Texas Republican did nothing to allay the concerns of K Street or Wall Street that he wont work with special interests to protect some of Washingtons favorite carve-outs. In fact, Hensarling consistently demonized the Washington insider economy.
He criticized tax policies: Today, I call upon every Republican in Congress to agree to scrap the code.
He criticized GOP leadership: Lets not just say were for fundamental tax reform; lets actually vote on it.
He criticized farm subsidies: The beneficiaries of these programs like to hide behind the image of the sainted, iconic, family farmer.
He criticized sugar subsidies: Isnt it embarrassing that baked into every American apple pie is Soviet-style sugar.
He criticized the farm bill: Lets make the next farm bill the last farm bill.
He criticized earmarks: Earmarks epitomize the Washington insider economy.
He criticized Wall Street: Few Americans have ever been interested in occupying Wall Street; theyre just tired of bailing it out.
And he criticized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Its time for the Republican Party to live up to its pledge to end the reign of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
But Hensarling reserved special ire for the Export-Import Bank.
While Hensarling admitted that he doesnt much care for the term crony capitalism he said it suggests that capitalism is corrupt when the American free enterprise system is actually the most fair and most moral economic system ever devised by the mind of man the Texas Republican repeatedly characterized the Ex-Im Bank as cronyism, and he said the banks job-creation claims were dubious, at best.
Supporters say the bank supports American jobs by financing U.S. exports, but conservatives say the credit agencys loans amount to corporate welfare.
Today I call upon every Republican in Congress to simply let Ex-Im expire, Hensarling said. Let the American taxpayer exit Ex-Im.
Overall, Hensarlings speech was peppered with anecdotes about how Washington was failing the rest of the country.
He began the speech by recounting a story from seven years ago, when his daughter was five and he was stuck in Washington for some weekend votes. When he called his daughter to explain that he wouldnt be coming home that weekend, she asked a question, according to Hensarling: Daddy, is Washington, D.C., part of America?
He frequently returned to this theme, painting the city as otherworldly.
He also told of his humble beginnings as a chicken farmer. His first job was to clean out the chicken houses. Incidentally, wonderful training for serving in Congress, Hensarling said to an enthusiastic Heritage crowd.
That Hensarling spoke at the Heritage Foundation is news in its own right. Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, has made no qualms about his increasing frustration with Heritage, and for Hensarling, who was once the GOP Conference chairman but stepped down to take the gavel of Financial Services, speaking at Heritage while they are in an awkward battle with House leadership may be seen as a soft rebuke of Boehner.
Hensarling is commonly thought to be one of the few Republicans who could challenge Boehner for the speakers gavel, or Majority Leader Eric Cantor, if Boehner were to retire.
During a brief question-and-answer session after his roughly 40-minute speech, CQ Roll Call asked Hensarling if he were considering at all running for speaker.
I was happy to see Johnny Manziel drafted by the Cleveland Hensarling said, trailing off as nervous laughter from the crowd interrupted him. Listen: Im flattered when people ask the question. I want its not something Ive aspired to, its not something Im thinking about, its not something Im working on. I see no reason whatsoever why its in the interest of the Republican Party or the conservative movement to really be thinking about leadership races.
Hensarling continued, No, I havent been Shermanesque, referring to Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman who definitively said he would never run for president. Again, Im not sure theres any opportunity I want to close.
I just get up in the morning trying to figure out what I can to do to make a difference, to make a difference for the cause of freedom, Hensarling said.
“..........With 24 Republican members, Texas has the clout to bend the Republican Conference to its will.
Easily the largest GOP delegation, Texas is poised to add to its collection of committee gavels next year, and, maybe, wage a fight for the upper rungs of House leadership.
Texas holds five of 21 full committee chairmanships already. And next year, with Rep. Mac Thornberry expected to take the gavel of the Armed Services Committee, it could have six chairmen with K. Michael Conaway also expected to trade his Ethics gavel for the Agriculture Committee.
Thats assuming one of the delegations current chairmen, such as Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling or Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, doesnt snag a spot in leadership first.
The whispers are mounting that Hensarling, a former conference chairman, could launch a bid for the speakers gavel or majority leader. He was recently asked whether he might run for leadership at a fundraiser at Carmines. Hensarlings answer? Next question.
Sessions, with his two stints as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is also said to be pondering a run for majority whip.
Whether either of them will actually seek a spot is an open question they might be, as Texans are fond of saying, all hat and no cattle.
It takes more than desire to win a leadership race, and its unclear whether Hensarling, Sessions or any other Texas Republican has that. But if any Texan did mount a challenge, theyd have a natural constituency.
Asked if there was an unspoken alliance among Texas Republicans regarding leadership elections, Sessions could barely wait for the question to end before answering it.
Were stickin together because we see the world that way, he said. Its indigenous to us. Its just the way we are........................
Good on Hensarling, the Ex-Im bank needs to be closed.
I ran across this yesterday.
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