EXIM Bank's fate tied to the outcome of Senate midterms

(The Hill, Washington, 30 October 2018) Pollsters are predicting that Kavanaugh’s US Senate confirmation has galvanized Republicans and enhanced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) chances of retaining Senate control. For the last three years, and with little notice, McConnell has deployed tactics to contravene the support of the president and bipartisan congressional majorities to cripple the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM). Because of McConnell’s block of board nominees, EXIM lacks the quorum needed to support deals over $10 million, which historically comprise 80 percent of bank lending. Ten years ago, EXIM responded to the Great Recession by tripling export support, financing $30 billion annually of U.S. exports over a five-year period, creating over a million jobs. Because big deals make money, EXIM made a $3.8 billion profit under Obama. But without a quorum, authorizations fell to $3.4 billion last year. Limited to small, less-profitable deals, EXIM now costs taxpayers money.