Corrupt Export-Import Bank Part Of What’s Wrong With Washington


Club for Growth President Chris Chocola: “It’s time for Congress to shut down this corporate welfare slush fund once and for all.”

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth today commented in reaction to news that broke in the Wall Street Journal last night that “The U.S. Export-Import Bank has suspended or removed four officials in recent months amid investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks, as well as attempts to steer federal contracts to favored companies.”

Of course, this is not the first time the Export-Import Bank has faced allegations of corruption. In 2010, Bloomberg Newsreported that Exxon Mobil Corp. treated Export-Import Bank employees to first class accommodations and entertainment as they decided whether or not to approve a $15 billion project supported by Exxon:

Exxon Mobil Corp. and its partners in a $15 billion Papua New Guinea gas project last year paid the travel expenses for employees of the U.S. Export-Import Bank as it considered whether to help fund the venture. 

The four workers ran up $97,367 in bills traveling to London, Tokyo and the South Pacific, according to data compiled by the bank. They flew business class, viewed the project’s route by chartered aircraft and were entertained by costumed villagers. Eleven months later, the bank approved $3 billion in financing for the liquefied natural gas facility, the biggest transaction in the agency’s 75 years. (Bloomberg News, 3/25/10)

The new revelations of corruption at the Export-Import Bank come less than 24 hours after business groups supporting reauthorization of the bank announced a “Dream Team” of lobbyists in charge of pushing to keep the bank.

“The Export-Import Bank is quickly becoming a symbol for everything that’s wrong with Washington, from corruption to crony capitalism to lobbyists looking to rake in fees to perpetuate the big-government status quo,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “It’s time for Congress to shut down this corporate welfare slush fund once and for all. We look forward to watching Chairman Jeb Hensarling hold the bank accountable when Fred Hochberg testifies before his committee tomorrow.”