Amid recent rumors on Capitol Hill that House Republicans were going to "punt" on their intention to close down the Export-Import Bank, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan made clear this morning that he and his colleagues were committed to its closing and would not simply enact reforms of the official export credit agency of the United States.
"It seems I've heard that song before," the Wisconsin Republican said at a press breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, adding "we asked [the Ex-Im Bank] to reform and they have failed to produce reforms."
Underscoring the case made by House colleagues ranging from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling
(R.-Tex.) to the "tea party" caucus for closing the controversial institution, Ryan said that the Ex-Im Bank "represents crony capitalism – big business and big government – joining to hand out favors."
He pointed to Boeing Aircraft as an example of a company "getting a large portion of Ex-Im Bank money."
With most of the Ex-Im Bank's fundig going to what he called "a few connected companies," Ryan maintained that "there is less opportunity" for small business.
"At the end of the day," Ryan said, the best course to take is "not handing taxpayers' dollars out to select companies."
Ryan's strong words on the Ex-Im Bank came a day after Democratic Congresional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D.-NY) told the same "Monitor" breakfast that the Republican strategy for closing the Ex-Im Bank is "another example of [Republican] strategy misfiring" and "Republicans [being] hijacked to the right."
Israel also said that small businesses "are turned off" by the anti Ex-Im Bank course House Republicans are taking.
Concerning his own career, Ryan said he would not make a decision on either running for the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee or seeking the presidency in 2016 until after 2014.
After the elections, said the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, "[wife] Janna and I will sit down and have the proper deliberations."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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