Kevin McCarthy wasted no time getting right with the Tea Party after his election as House Majority Leader last week. The California Republican, whose ascension to the second-highest position in House Republican leadership came after his predecessor lost a primary to a Tea Party opponent, seems eager to make his bones with the hard right by killing the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
The Ex-Im Bank, which sells loan guarantees to foreign purchasers of goods manufactured in the U.S., has been around since the 1930s with the mission of making it easier for U.S. companies to sell their products overseas. In recent years, it has been a target of the rightmost wing of the Republican Party, which believes the private market, not the government, ought to be funding trade finance deals.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, McCarthy told host Chris Wallace that the bank's authorization, scheduled to end in September, should be allowed to expire. "One of the biggest problems with government is they go and take hard-earned money so others do things that the private sector can do. That's what the Ex-Im Bank does," McCarthy said.
The problem, according to supporters of the banks, is that the private market simply won't do what the Ex-Im Bank does, at least not at prices that the small- and medium-sized businesses it serves can afford.