This week, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R – Texas) penned a letter to the President asking why the Export-Import Bank should still be doing business in Russia, given all the problems that Vladimir Putin is causing these days. These seem like two rather unrelated issues, but Hensarling shows how they are actually closely related.
Boeing decided to respond with a letter of their own (inserted below), posted directly to the Congressman. They were none too happy, and went to great lengths to explain why the Ex-Im Bank is so important, how there is so much bipartisan support for continuing it, and how terrible it would be if some of their customers went to Airbus instead of them for their purchases. The interesting thing about the Boeing letter is not so much what’s in it as what’s missing. The word Russia does not appear once in the entire text.
Here’s the letter in full.
This is a question of private business rather than government policy, so in the end it’s really up to Boeing whether or not they choose to facilitate business for Russia. But by the same token, everyone else – including prospective customers – can take that into account as well. This is, however, another one of those cases of politics and strange bedfellows. It turns out that Boeing has a PAC of their own, known as BPAC. They spread quite a bit of cash around in political circles, too. I wonder if they will be planning to expand on the combined nearly $10K they donated to the Friends of Jeb Hensarling in 2012 and 2013?
Oh, and in the meantime, the House has subpoenaed former Export-Import Bank official Johnny Gutierrez.