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Republicans take a pass on Obama’s export subsidies

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Business,Timothy P. Carney,Barack Obama,Republican Party

President Obama’s “New Economic Patriotism” leans heavily on exports, and thus on subsidies from the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Obama uses Ex-Im to support industries he likes (solar), companies he likes (Siemens, GE), and industries hurt by sequestration (satellites). Mostly, he uses Ex-Im to subsidize Boeing jets.

Republicans of late have begun bashing “corporate welfare.” Ex-Im uses taxpayer-backed financing to absorb the risk of banks and subsidize Boeing jets.

But this morning, only one Republican (Mike Crapo) showed up at the Banking Committee and asked questions when Fred Hochberg, the Ex-Im Chairman who has led the agency in its rapid expansion under Obama, appeared for his reconfirmation hearing.

Other Banking Committee conservatives who opposed Ex-Im, such as David Vitter and Pat Toomey, were not in attendance. Outside groups Heritage Action and Club for Growth are agitating against Hochberg’s quick confirmation, but so far, Senate Republicans are taking a pass on this fight.

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