There was some disagreement Tuesday among four of South Carolina’s Republican U.S. congressmen when it came to federal issues impacting one of the state’s largest manufacturers.
During a S.C. Chamber of Commerce forum, U.S. Reps. Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land, Tom Rice of Myrtle Beach, Mark Sanford of Charleston and Joe Wilson of Springdale fielded a question about the federal Export Import Bank, which helps Boeing sell planes overseas.
Mulvaney said the bank needs serious reforms, including getting out of the business of making loans to foreign companies that have access to financing. He said the loan guarantor should be a “lender of last resort,” helping companies that would not be able to buy planes or other goods from U.S. companies without its U.S.-backed financing.
Sanford said Mulvaney had been a “real hero” for opposing the Export Import Bank. Its clients include Boeing, which has a plant in North Charleston, not the “neediest of the needy,” Sanford said.
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“(W)e’re dealing with large corporations that are well funded and have access to a variety of different insurance and capital sources, and if we can’t knock out a program like that, then how are we going to knock out anything in terms of limiting government?” Sanford asked.
But, he added, “On this one, I have to be wholly inconsistent because my philosophy would line up with Mick’s, but I think I have to vote with my district.”
The bank, Sanford added, is “deeply important to a company like Boeing.”
The GOP congressmen also briefly touched on another issue important to Boeing’s nonunion S.C. plant.
Earlier Tuesday, Wilson noted, President Barack Obama vetoed a resolution aimed at blocking the National Labor Relations Board from speeding up the process of union elections. The GOP-controlled U.S. House and Senate had sought to rein in the labor board, and the S.C. congressmen were unhappy with the Obama’s veto.
Last month, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers filed a petition to have employees at Boeing’s North Charleston plant vote on whether they want to unionize.