Tom Borelli

The current political battle over the bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank reveals the immense influence the big business lobby has over both political parties. It also explains why this special interest group has declared war on the Tea Party.

Big business political influence boils down to financial support for any politician who is willing to bestow huge benefits on certain companies. The Export-Import Bank is a prime example.

The Export-Import Bank boosts sales of U.S. multinational corporations by providing government-backed loans, loan guarantees and other credit mechanisms to countries and international companies around the world. The bank is a classic example of the transfer of wealth from taxpayers to big business, funneled through the government.

What’s fascinating about this issue is not that big business is wielding special influence to line its pockets with taxpayer dollars — nothing new there. The intriguing aspect of the Export-Import Bank is how the ideological divide between the warring establishment Republicans and Democrats evaporates when it comes to funding corporate welfare.

Negotiations surrounding the Export-Import Bank legislation offer a great example of normally opposing ideological forces casting aside hardened policy positions. It’s the D.C. insiders in action.

In contrast to contentious topics such as Obamacare, where the political parties engaged in a Texas Death match against one another, bailing out big business is an issue for bipartisan hand-holding and singing “Kumbaya.”

In reality, keeping the federal government big, willing and able to dole out monetary favors is the business of the leadership in both parties.

Even with an issue such as climate change, the left’s concerns over environmental catastrophe caused by coal-fired power plants are put on hold in order to contemplate ways to push the Export-Import Bank bill over the goal line.

When coal-state Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced plans to introduce an amendment to the Export-Import Bank reauthorization bill to reverse a restriction on coal-fired power plants, climate change champion Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) reaction was muted.

Boxer initially said, "I don't support it. But I don't know whether it's even relevant or matters."

After flirting with Manchin’s idea for a week, Boxer is reversing course, saying she will fight approval of the coal provision.


Tom Borelli

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow with FreedomWorks.

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