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As one of our over 6.9 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on the Kirk amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, H.R 1735, that would reauthorize the U.S. Ex-Im Bank. FreedomWorks may score votes for this amendment in its 2015 Congressional Scorecard.
The United States Export-Import Bank is an 80-year-old relic of the New Deal that even Barack Obama once called nothing more than a fund for corporate welfare. The majority of the Bank’s loan guarantees go to a small number of large, politically connected corporations like Boeing and General Electric, and the program is expected to cost taxpayers $2 billion over the next ten years.
By attaching reauthorization for this cronyist bank to something as important as funding for our troops is a politically cynical and manipulative move. The Bank would not be able to survive if senators were required to vote on it as a standalone bill, but its attachment to a must-pass appropriations bill gives supporters of the bank cover for their votes. Essentially, this amendment, sponsored by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), forces senators to choose between funding corporate welfare or holding our military hostage. Even Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who has been one of the Ex-Im Bank’s staunchest allies, has said that the NDAA is not an appropriate vehicle for Ex-Im reauthorization.
If some senators are indeed convinced that the Ex-Im Bank is a necessary and proper program, they should be willing to vote for it openly, without hiding behind the need for defense appropriations. Instead, this amendment gives them a free pass to disobey the will of their constituents and preserve a program that should have expired decades ago.
FreedomWorks may count any votes on this amendment as a Key Vote when calculating our Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2015. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom.
President and Founder,