Stopping Internet giveaway more important than quorum on Export Import Bank

Sept. 21, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to a Washington Post report that the Senate is close to a deal on the continuing resolution that would include blocking the transition of U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system but that “Democrats have been unwilling to accept that addition unless language is also included that would free the Export-Import Bank to approve more deals”:

“If the Export Import Bank’s quorum becomes the reason why Congress could not block the Internet giveaway, the American people will never forgive the members of the Senate who thought pausing the bank for a few weeks or months pending another appointment to the bank’s board was more important.

“Continuing U.S. oversight of the Internet’s domain name system protects the First Amendment rights of everyone who uses the Internet and prevents the creation of a global monopoly that one day could censor the Internet absent U.S. governance. The odious Export Import Bank on the other hand has been around for 80 years and its charter was recently reauthorized by Congress. Regardless of the wisdom of that decision — we opposed it — but it was done anyway.

“If Congress wishes to revisit the charter, it should address the bank’s authorization to exist in a separate piece of legislation. The continuing resolution is the only vehicle available to stop the surrender of U.S. oversight of the Internet, and as such it must take precedence over short-term philosophical battles over the bank. If Congress fails to act to stop the Internet giveaway by September 30, U.S. oversight of the Internet and its First Amendment protections it affords will never be recovered. The Export Import Bank issue will likely be determined by the outcome of the November election. This isn’t even a choice. If anyone allows a temporary quorum issue on the Export Import Bank to become an excuse to surrender the Internet, those responsible will forever wear that albatross around their necks.”

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