The longstanding ban on the exportation of American crude oil is a misguided policy founded on protectionism and a misunderstanding of global economics. Lifting the ban would produce the economic benefits of free trade at home and abroad, promoting desperately needed economic growth and job creation.
For this reason, FreedomWorks is pleased that Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has introduced H.R. 702 “To adapt to changing crude oil market conditions.” The bill recognizes that the United States is now a leader in energy production, and that it would be folly to squander the gains from such productivity with protectionist measures.
Unfortunately, when the Congressional Budget Office revealed that the bill would save taxpayers an estimated $500 million, the House Rules Committee tacked on a rider to give that money away to the Maritime Security Program. This giveaway is an earmark in everything but name, blatantly intended to benefit selected unions and thus allure some Democrats into voting for the bill.
This kind of log-rolling is emblematic of the dysfunction of Washington. The out of control national debt is perhaps the greatest threat to American security and prosperity over the next several decades, yet as soon as a cost savings is found, Congress reflexively spends it on something new. The fact that this was done in committee without the opportunity for a floor vote adds insult to injury.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) has introduced an amendment to the bill to remove the special interest rider. If the Amash amendment passes, FreedomWorks will count votes on Rep. Barton’s bill as a Key Vote when calculating our Congressional Scorecard for 2015. If it does not, FreedomWorks will only score votes on the amendment. Our scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Please contact your representative and ask that they support lifting the ban on crude oil exports, while demanding that the cost savings not be passed on to special interest lobbies and Big Labor.