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Waters Challenges Hensarling to Negotiate on Export-Import Bank

Democrats Unite as GOP Fractures

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Washington, DC, June 25, 2014 | comments

 In the aftermath of a divisive Export-Import Bank hearing for the Republican Party,Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) called on Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) to heed the calls of his Republican caucus and strike a deal on the Bank.

“It is clear from yesterday’s hearing that not only does a majority of the House of Representatives support renewing the Export-Import Bank’s charter, but so does a majority of Chairman Hensarling’s own Committee,” said Rep. Waters, Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee.

“I was heartened to hear so many Republicans talk about the Bank’s positive impact on job creation, economic growth and American competitiveness. I welcome the opportunity to work together to preserve the Bank for the long term – including any reforms that may be necessary. Following yesterday’s hearing, I wonder if Chairman Hensarling’s own position is beginning to soften.”

Yesterday’s hearing showed widespread bipartisan support for the renewal of the Bank, with several Republicans publically siding against Chairman Hensarling in touting its importance.

The Chairman’s own comments on the Bank appeared to be a departure from his previous statements that it is time to “exit the Ex-Im,” stating at the hearing “now I will admit that Republicans may disagree on whether Ex-Im should be reformed or allowed to expire, and I certainly hope this hearing will help illuminate that decision. But we are united in believing we cannot reauthorize the status quo.”

On a pivotal day for the Bank, the demonstrated support was encouraging. In addition to positive statements by Republicans on the Committee,  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his support for a floor vote on the Bank’s renewal. This comes following news that 41 Republicans signed a letter calling on House leaders to take action on a multi-year reauthorization of the bank, including five Republicans on the Committee.

Also yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry expressed his support for the Bank’s renewal, saying “To unilaterally disarm by not reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank puts American companies at a disadvantage in their ability to compete in the global marketplace, will cost jobs and will drive up prices for American made goods.”

Extending the Bank’s charter has also seen an outpouring of support from small businesses, labor, manufacturing and business. And legislation introduced yesterday by Reps. Denny Heck (D-WA) and William Lacy Clay (D-MO) already has 202 Democratic cosponsors.

Waters added, “With the Export-Import Bank’s expiration less than three months away, now is the time for pragmatic, serious conversations about extending the Bank’s charter. It’s time for Republican leadership to put the extremist rhetoric aside and take real action to support American job creators against foreign competitors. We have the support, and we have the votes. By stalling, all we are doing is hurting job creation and penalizing American businesses with continued uncertainty.”

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