WASHINGTON — As Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R.-Texas), Chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, plots to allow the Export-Import Bank of the United States to die at the end of June, his fellow Republican, John Fleming (TP-Louisiana) said, “We in Congress can do what we do best, and that is nothing.” The Export-Import Bank, with its 402 employees, will cease to exist as of June 30 unless Congress renews its Charter.
The Export-Import Bank is an independent agency within the Executive Branch. Its purpose is to provide financing to promote American exports. Critics assert that mega-corporations like Boeing and General Electric are its chief beneficiaries.
Given that the Ex-Im Bank has a lot of money at its disposal which it loans out at government rates, Hensarling's and Fleming’s plan deserves some notice. House Speaker John Boehner urged Hensarling last month to “come up with a plan” to wind down the bank’s operations or come up with new reforms.
Establishment groups like the Chamber of Commerce say the Ex-Im Bank provides critical loans and loan guarantees to help overseas buyers purchase US products and support tens of thousands of jobs.
As a solitary reporter reported for duty at the Capitol this morning, he accosted Hensarling and accused him of plotting to prevent the United States from exporting anything to any country except Canada. As a result, the solitary reporter’s whereabouts were unknown until only a few moments ago, when he turned up in Oak Creek in Western Colorado.
There, the solitary reporter observed Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, staring down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a fight to the death boxing match. The governor objects to McConnell’s demand that all governors, especially governors of states where coal is mined, defy the EPA’s new pollution controls on coal-burning power plants. But in a letter to McConnell dated May 14 (eight days after the end of the 2015 Colorado legislative session), Hickenlooper told McConnell that Colorado is cutting pollution while keeping energy affordable. Oak Creek, a town of 809 which was incorporated in 1907 as a coal mining town, lies in the center of coal mining on Colorado’s Western Slope. All bets are on the governor’s winning the bout, because, as anyone who has recently looked at a photograph of Mitch McConnell knows, in physiological terms, McConnell’s face consists mostly of flab, while Hickenlooper is in great shape.
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