April 14, 2022

Toomey on EXIM’s Domestic Finance Initiative: This is Worse Than Mission Creep

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today criticized the Export-Import Bank of the United States’ (EXIM) vote to approve a new Domestic Finance Initiative. The program would provide taxpayer subsidies to domestic manufacturing facilities and infrastructure projects—even if the EXIM-financed projects do not export anything.

“There is no reason that taxpayers should have to back domestic financing when we live in a highly developed market economy in which promising businesses have access to capital on competitive terms. Even worse, this unprecedented program subverts Congressional intent by straining the interpretation of EXIM’s charter to such an extent as to make it meaningless. This is worse than mission creep.”

On March 10, Senator Toomey sent a letter to EXIM asking for more information about the proposed Domestic Finance Initiative and urged EXIM not to present it to its Board of Directors without first publishing a comprehensive framework for the program and receiving public comments. On March 23, EXIM sent Senator Toomey a response, which raises more concerns about the program’s nature. EXIM also refused to acknowledge the Ranking Member’s request for public comment, and proceeded to vote today despite few public details regarding the program.

Following Senator Toomey’s letter, the Washington Post published a column by George Will highlighting concerns about EXIM’s Domestic Finance Initiative. As Mr. Will writes in his column, such a program reaches far beyond EXIM’s statutory mandate.