Sen. Cruz to Senate and House Leadership: End Ex-Im’s Corporate Welfare Program Forever
“On June 30, Congress finally, finally, finally decided to let a wasteful spending program expire; let’s keep it that way”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today hosted a press conference with conservative leaders calling on leadership in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to ensure the Export-Import Bank remains expired and is not reauthorized on any future legislation Congress may consider.
Cruz was joined at the press conference by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Club for Growth President Dave McIntosh, Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli, Tea Party Patriots Co-Founder Jenny Beth Martin, and Heritage Action Chief Operating Officer Tim Chapman.
A transcript of his opening statement is below:
“Good morning. It’s great to be here with friends in both the Senate and the House and with conservative leaders from across this country. We come here today initially to celebrate, to celebrate and to congratulate Congressional leadership in both the House and the Senate for a remarkable victory that occurred last month.
“On June 30, Congress finally, finally, finally decided to let a wasteful spending program expire. After 81 years, Congress decided to end one of the worst examples of corporate welfare: Washington could stop sending taxpayer monies to benefit wealthy contributors. And so, after 81 long years, the Export-Import Bank has expired.
“The Export-Import Bank is a classic example of cronyism. It is a classic example of corporate welfare. The Export-Import Bank puts taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars in loans that go to foreign countries, loans that go to foreign corporations. Taxpayers are risking their dollars in order to benefit foreign countries and to benefit giant corporations.
“The majority of the benefits of the Export-Import Bank go to a handful of gigantic corporations. And the reason that this corporate welfare program has existed for 81 years is because of the operation of the Washington Cartel.
“What’s the Washington Cartel? It’s career politicians in both parties, Democrats and Republicans, who get in bed with lobbyists and special interests in Washington and loot the taxpayers to give it away to their big money contributors.
“You know, Democrats are fond of railing against big business, and yet just about every Democrat is lined up supporting the corporate welfare of the Export-Import Bank. Any Democrat that wants to give a passionate speech about how he or she is a populist, ought to be asked ‘Well, if you’re such a populist, why are you supporting risking billions of dollars of taxpayers’ monies to benefit a handful of giant corporations?’
“And then when it comes to Republicans, you know, in campaign seasons every Republican is a conservative. There are a lot of campaign conservatives in the United States Congress. Well, now is when push comes to shove, where we discover if people are merely campaign conservatives or they actually are going to be practicing conservatives, consistent conservatives.
“Two men can make this decision – John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. If John Boehner and Mitch McConnell stand up and say ‘we will simply do nothing’ – you know, if there’s one thing Congress is good at it’s doing nothing – John Boehner and Mitch McConnell say ‘we will simply not allow the Export-Import Bank to be reauthorized’ – that will ensure this corporate welfare program goes away for good.
“About a month ago, there was a great battle in Congress over TPA. House leadership insisted, Senate leadership insisted there was no corrupt deal. They’ve said: “We didn’t trade this [TPA] for a bunch of K Street lobbyists writing checks to members of congress on both sides.” That is great news – I salute that – for saying there is no corrupt deal. Now is the opportunity to prove it.
“If there is no corrupt deal, then Congressional leadership should stand with House conservatives, with Senate conservatives to say, ‘We mean what we say.’ And when we’re talking about welfare, conservatives start with helping people get off government dependency and back on their own feet. Then we need to start with getting giant corporations off the dependency of the government at the expense of the taxpayers.
“And by the way, the Export-Import Bank expired two weeks ago. You notice the sky hasn’t fallen. In fact, all of the people who are receiving these taxpayer benefits, these taxpayer guarantees, what are they doing? They’re now going to the private sector. They’re going to the private sector, they’re getting the loans in the private sector, it all works fine, but you know what? It’s easier, it’s cheaper to loot the federal purse and say, ‘Gosh, the taxpayers don’t require any accountability.’ The bribery, the corruption of the Export-Import Bank… enough is enough.
“I call upon Democrats. If you are a populist, if you mean the words you say on the campaign trail, stand up and say enough is enough for the corporate welfare.
“And I call on Republicans. If you’re more than a campaign conservative, if you are in fact a principled, constitution-believing, liberty-loving conservative, then stand up and act up.
“That’s what this group is here for right now. I recognize my good friend and colleague Senator Mike Lee, junior senator from Utah, and a stalwart lion in defense of the free markets.”