WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the incoming House majority leader, said on Sunday he would allow the authorization for the Export-Import Bank of the United States to expire when it comes up for reauthorization in the fall.
In his first national television interview since being elected on Thursday to be the number two Republican in the House, McCarthy said Congress had decided in a previous vote that the bank, responsible for supporting US exports, should be phased out.
“One of the biggest problems of government is they go and take hard-earned money so others do things that the private sector can do,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s what the Ex-Im Bank does.”
McCarthy is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, which is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bank on Wednesday.
The House overwhelmingly supported extending the bank’s charter in 2012 despite pressure from conservative groups, including the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, which argued that the bank’s support for major businesses such as Boeing amounted to corporate welfare and could put taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars.
But business groups including the US Chamber of Commerce rallied lawmakers behind the bank, arguing that exports and, by extension, the economy would suffer without it to level the playing field the way other countries support their own exporters.
McCarthy voted to reauthorize the bank at the time.