Debate Over Ex-Im Bank Amendment to JOBS Act Highlights Influence of Boeing, Aircraft Manufacturers

March 19, 2012–The Senate will be pushing forward on the House-passed JOBS Act (HR 3606) and could be voting as early as tomorrow.

An amendment to the Senate version would reauthorize and raise the lending cap on the Export-Import Bank, which provides loan guarantees for foreign purchases of American exports. An estimated 40 percent of the import-export bank’s loans are for the purchase of aircraft, with aerospace giant Boeing receiving the largest share of the sales. However, according to CQ, airlines such as Delta have been lobbying against the extension, which they argue subsidizes aircraft manufacturers, benefitting foreign competitors. The amendment has also pitted free-market groups such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, which oppose the amendment, against pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable, which support the amendment. Boeing Chairman, President and CEO W. James McNerney is also the chairman of the Business Roundtable.

MapLight has conducted an analysis of campaign contributions from interest groups attempting to influence the Export-Import Bank's lending cap to current members of the U.S. Senate.

  • Interest groups connected to Aircraft Manufacturers and their employees gave a total of $510,850 to current members of the U.S. Senate between July 1, 2005–June 30, 2011.
  • Interest groups connected to Airlines and their employees gave a total of $1,838,060 to current U.S. Senators between July 1, 2005–June 30, 2011.
  • Boeing and its employees (which has contributions classified as Aircraft Manufacturers and as Defense Aerospace Contractors)  have given a total of $1,019,385 to members of the U.S. Senate between July 1, 2005–June 30, 2011
  • Boeing is among the top 10 contributing organizations of two of the amendment’s sponsors: Sen. Maria Cantwell, who received $38,100 and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who received $24,500 from Boeing between July 1, 2005–June 30, 2011. Boeing is based out of Maria Cantwell's home state of Washington.
  • Republican/Conservative interest groups such as Club for Growth gave a total of $15,878,994 to current members of the US Senate between July 1, 2005–June 30, 2011.
  • Chambers of Commerce and their employees gave $280,494 to current U.S. senators, while Pro-business associations and their employees gave $112,213 to current U.S. senators July 1, 2005–June 30, 2011.

METHODOLOGY: MapLight analysis of reported contributions to congressional campaigns of senators currently in office from interest groups connected to Aircraft Manufacturers, Airlines, Republican/Conservative, Chambers of Commerce, and Pro-business associations and their employees, as well as contributions from Boeing and its employees from July 1, 2005–June 30, 2011. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org.

About MapLight: MapLight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that reveals money's influence on politics. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.