Once again, President Obama has flip-flopped on another issue.
In 2008, then Sen. Obama (D., Ill.) opposed the Export-Import Bank calling it “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
A complete position reversal was exposed during a Friday news conference when Obama strongly defended the institution:
This must have the Chamber of Commerce with a big smile. Mary Landrieu, Senator from LA as well. See, Obama has had a turn about once again because those big buck are calling once again. This time it is the Import-Export Bank. Recall Chamber of Commerce to back Democrat Mary Landrieu? It was all over the support of the Import-Export Bank.
Rob Engstrom, the US Chamber of Commerce’s national political director, recently told a gathering of trade association executives that the Chamber planned to endorse Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu in her reelection bid this year. The endorsement, reported by the New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, could decide the balance of power in the Senate and preserve Sen. Harry Reid as majority leader.
So far this year, $1.62 billion has been spent on lobbying Congress.
Maybe this is why he has found his groove for the Bank:
Obama trashes Import Export Bank Charter – February 19, 2012
Acting without any legal authority, President Obama has overridden the federal charter of the Export-Import Bank, and turned it into a competitor for domestic loan business, in utter defiance of the law. Hardly anyone has noticed or seems to care. Speakingat a Boeing assembly plant in Everett, Washington Friday, President Barack Obama announced a bold new plan to help American exporters: he would broaden the services of the Ex-Im Bank to help grow our exports.
He has also announced that he will order the Ex-Im Bank to begin making short-term financing loans of six to twelve months — not necessarily connected to any export sales! — to small domestic firms who want to increase their exporting activity. That’s so open-ended, it can mean anything and include any company.
Now on Friday:
“But for some reason, right now the House Republicans have decided that we shouldn’t do this, which means that when American companies go overseas and they’re trying to close a sale on selling Boeing planes, for example, or a GE turbine or some other American product that has all kinds of subcontractors behind it and is creating all kinds of jobs and all of sorts of small businesses depend on that sale, and that American company’s going up against a German company or a Chinese company, and the Chinese and the American — the German company are providing financing and the American company isn’t, we may lose that sale,” Obama argued.
“Why — when did that become something that Republicans opposed? It’d be like me having a car dealership for Ford, and the Toyota dealership offers somebody financing and I don’t. We will lose business, and we’ll lose jobs if we don’t pass it,” Obama continued.
Earlier this week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) argued the Ex-Im bank is representative of “crony capitalism.”
“There is no doubt that a thread has emerged in the Republican Party of anti-globalisation that runs contrary to the party’s traditional support for free trade,” Obama said of the debate surrounding the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
How the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) became targets for Tea Party wrath is a little strange to me. But I do think there remains a consensus within the American business community that ultimately we benefit from trade. I am confident that we can get AGOA reauthorised and refined, given the lessons learned from the first round of AGOA. And the truth is that the amount of trade between the United States and Africa is so small relative to our overall economy that in no way should it be perceived as a threat.”
H/T:Hot Air and more of an update.