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Failure to Apply Minimum Capital Standards to Ex-Im Bank Puts Taxpayers at Risk


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On Tuesday, Senator Corker voted against the Export-Import Bank reauthorization bill (H.R.2072) because it needlessly puts taxpayers at risk for a potential bailout. The bank, similar to competing entities in other countries, makes affordable loans to companies that export American products overseas but are unable to obtain financing from other sources. Corker offered an amendment requiring a 10 percent minimum capital standard and certification of foreign exports. The Corker amendment would have also required the bank to certify that private financing is unavailable or too expensive before making a loan. The Senate passed H.R.2072 by a vote of 78 to 20. Corker's amendment was defeated.

"The failure to impose even minimum capital standards for an entity with explicit backing from taxpayers demonstrates that Congress has learned very little from the financial crisis of 2008. Without reasonable limits on what the Export-Import bank can lend, taxpayers would needlessly be put at risk for a future bailout. Congress is eager to limit the private sector's ability to lend, but when it comes to loans guaranteed by the government, the attitude is "do as I say, not as I do.' Today we missed an opportunity to both maintain competitiveness for American exporters while protecting the interest of taxpayers," Corker said.

The Ex-Im Bank's existing charter requires $1 billion in capital but as lending limits have increased, the capital requirement has not.

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