Conservative group calls on governor to reject federal Ex-Im Bank

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In a letter circulated by Rainy Day Patriots, executive director Zan Green and state co-chair Ann Eubank chided Gov. Robert Bentley for his support for the 71-year old Export-Import bank, a trade credit agency created by Congress to facilitate international commerce.

The group called the institution “a fund for corporate welfare,” and echoed sentiments from President Barack Obama who has opposed the extension of the bank’s charter.

The group also praised Alabama U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer for opposing the bank as well, saying it is a relic of the past that no longer serves a legitimate public purpose, and instead has become a piggy bank for governmental financial adventures.

“The bank largely benefits large corporations that shell out millions for multitudes of lobbyists to descend upon the lawmakers and bureaucrats in DC to secure funding for their exports — something that most small business owners cannot afford to do,” Green and Eubanks wrote. “For example, the bank loaned nearly half a billion dollars to First Solar — to sell solar panels to itself. It is past time for the bank to expire.”

The group also criticized the other members of Alabama’s congressional delegation, linking to an item on the website for the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Action for America organization that lists 83 House members who have publicly voiced their opposition to the bank’s continued existence.

The Rainy Day Patriots likened their efforts to that of the state Senate, which roundly rejected Bentley’s support for expanding Medicaid in the state to draw down federal healthcare dollars, a deeply unpopular position among state Republicans.

“Our Alabama congressmen should reject Governor Bentley’s advice on the Ex-Im Bank, just as our State Senate resoundingly rejected Governor Bentley’s desire to expand Medicaid. Congressman Palmer deserves our gratitude, and it’s time for the rest of Alabama’s congressmen to join him,” the letter concluded.

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