Democratic Lawmakers Call for Hearing on Export-Import Bank
In the face of a Republican agenda that seeks to erode consumer protection and undermine Wall Street reform, Democratic members of the Financial Services Committee have called for a renewed focus on a legislative goal that is proven to preserve and create U.S. jobs by helping American businesses compete internationally for opportunities to export goods and services.
In a letter to Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Subcommittee Chair John Campbell (R-CA), 26 Democratic members of the Committee have called for a hearing to examine the issues surrounding the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a financially self-sustaining agency that has helped maintain or create 1.2 million U.S. jobs over the past five years.
Led by Representatives Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Denny Heck (D-WA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA), the letter touts the Bank’s importance in leveling the playing field for U.S. businesses that compete in the global economy. It also underscores the Export-Import Bank’s profitability, sustaining itself while returning billions to the Treasury. Rep. Waters is the top Democrat on the Committee and Rep. Clay is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade.
“The reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank is vital to growing our economy, generating good jobs for American workers, and expanding business opportunities for our best companies,” said Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay. “I urge the Chairman to schedule a hearing on its reauthorization at the earliest possible opportunity.”
“The bottom line is that the Export-Import Bank supports American jobs. I urge my Republican colleagues to act swiftly to reauthorize this proven jobs engine,” said Rep. Gwen Moore.
Unless Congress acts, the charter of the Export-Import Bank will expire on September 30, 2014.
“Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank will reduce the deficit and create good-paying jobs right here in America,” Rep. Denny Heck said. “Last year the Ex-Im Bank helped American businesses in all 50 states sell American-made products to overseas buyers. It is urgent that Congress reaches a bipartisan reauthorization agreement so U.S. companies can continue competing in the global marketplace.”
The lawmakers also point out that failing to reauthorize the Bank’s charter will hurt the competitiveness of U.S. businesses in the global marketplace in favor of foreign firms.
Rep. Waters said, “The Export-Import Bank sustains hundreds of thousands of jobs and levels the playing field so that American businesses, large and small, can compete successfully in global markets. Its reauthorization should be quick and without controversy.”
The letter was delivered to Chairman Hensarling today. Full text of the letter is below. A signed copy can be viewed here.
February 6, 2014
The Honorable Jeb Hensarling
The Honorable John Campbell
Re: Hearing Request to Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States
Dear Chairmen Hensarling and Campbell:
As you plan the Committee’s agenda for the second session of the 113th Congress, we write to respectfully request that the Committee direct immediate attention to the important business of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Specifically, we request that you schedule a hearing to begin examining the issues surrounding the reauthorization of the Bank. As you know, the current Export-Import Bank charter will expire September 30, 2014.
The Export-Import Bank supports and creates jobs for American workers by leveling the playing field for U.S.-based firms that compete in global markets for foreign business and customers. The Export-Import Bank supports U.S. exports and jobs while also returning billions of dollars in profits to the Treasury. As you may recall, the Committee adopted, without objection, an amendment to its Oversight Plan in February 2013 recognizing that the Export-Import Bank is a self-sustaining agency mandated to contribute to the employment of U.S. workers through financing U.S.-manufactured goods and services. The failure to reauthorize the Bank’s charter in a timely manner would jeopardize the ability of U.S. firms to compete with their global competitors and would tip the playing field in favor of foreign firms.
Over the past five years, the Bank has helped sustain or create 1.2 million jobs in the United States. With millions of American’s still unemployed, the role of the Export-Import Bank has become even more critical to the ability of United States businesses to increase United States exports.
We urge the Committee to begin taking the steps necessary to ensure a timely Export-Import Bank reauthorization. U.S. businesses that rely on the various export credit services that the Bank provides need certainty in the reauthorization process for long-term business planning purposes. We believe that committee action on reauthorization serves the best interest of the United States and the workers whose jobs the Export-Import Bank supports in all of our districts.
We believe Congress can reach a bipartisan reauthorization agreement, as we have consistently done in the past that meets the overall objective of supporting U.S. exports and jobs. We are eager to begin this process and are prepared to assist however we can in this important work. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.