Democrats are not impressed with Speaker John Boehner’s “leadership” as once again the Republican-led House failed to do even the most basic work, letting the 81-year-old institution of the Export-Import Bank charter expire Tuesday evening. But even more telling is the rage of the business community at Republicans, who charge that they do not know what they are doing.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office said in a statement, “The job-creating Export-Import Bank’s charter expired at midnight under Speaker Boehner’s watch for the first time since it was created in 1934 during the Great Depression.”
— Rep. Dan Kildee (@RepDanKildee) July 1, 2015
Pelosi’s office included quotes from various papers, some of which are stunning:
The Seattle Times stated: “Jobs will be lost. Companies will go out of business.
Boeing, Caterpillar and General Electric will lose an important tool to level the international playing field (for every major nation has its version of the Ex-Im Bank), but they will survive. The same can’t be said for many of the 200 or so smaller companies helped by the agency. Many will be entirely shut out of the export markets vital to their survival.”
So much for being the party of jobs or business.
In an article titled “Export-Import Bank set for midnight expiration, conservatives cheer demise”, Fox News reported, “Conservatives cheered the demise of the federal Export-Import Bank Tuesday and vowed to beat back efforts to revive it, even as business leaders issued dire warnings that letting the agency expire at midnight would hurt U.S. competitiveness globally.”
Under pressure from tea party-backed conservatives, GOP congressional leaders and presidential candidates have lined up against the bank, defying their traditional allies in the business community who support it.
They continued with a quote from Don Nelson, the President of California-based ProGauge Technologies, on Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “Truth be told, he has zero experience or knowledge on the topic and yet he and other misguided congressmen portray they’re experts on this topic and say the private sector can take over.”
And the death shot, “They really don’t have a clue what they’re doing or the damage they’re going to inflict on small businesses in America by closing the Ex-Im bank.”
So much for the idea that the Republicans are the Party of small business.
Lest you think this was an accidental failure, nope. It’s more of that Tea Party dysfunction that Boehner let’s drive the House. You see, conservatives wanted this charter to expire because they see it as a “free market distortion”.
“This is a small step toward renewing a competitive free-market economy and arresting the rise of the progressive welfare state and the cronyism connected to it,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who had led the effort to end the bank. “Now the challenge for supporters of a competitive free-market economy is to make sure Ex-Im stays expired.”
The House and Senate are on break for the July 4th holiday, so there will be no last minute cliff-hanger as Democrats find a way to save the country from the awe-inspiring, shameless dysfunction and destruction of the Republican party. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to drum up ways to sneak it past the Tea Party extremists who run his party, but with Heritage and others pushing House Republicans over the cliff of reason, this path seems dubious.
We knew Republicans didn’t care about jobs for the 98%, so that’s not news. Republicans have ceded being the party of fiscal responsibility and the party of national security to Democrats, who have done better on both fronts in modern times. Now it seems they are hell bent on ceding “the party of business” to Democrats as well.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.