Less than one day after four leading Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation to reauthorize, reform and re-energize the Export-Import Bank, support for the bill has dramatically intensified. A growing total of more than 190 Democratic members of the House of Representatives have signed on to cosponsor the legislation, entitled the “Promoting U.S. Jobs through Exports Act of 2015,” (H.R. 1031). The surging support for the Democratic measure, in addition to the 58 Republicans who have supported Ex-Im renewal legislation offered by Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN), underscore the bipartisan support enjoyed by the Bank, which now has reached more than a majority of the House of Representatives.
Introduced by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA), and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the measure extends Ex-Im’s charter for seven years, increases its lending authority, and modernizes the Bank’s programs to better serve small and medium-sized businesses.
“The outpouring of support for this important legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank’s charter is remarkable,” said Ranking Member Waters. “This momentum sends a strong message to America’s manufacturers, businesses and workers that Democrats are united in preserving an institution that for decades has helped this nation create jobs and grow the economy. In the days to come, I and my colleagues will work to ensure we build even more support for this bill – among Democrats, Republicans, the Administration, labor and the private sector. The widespread support for extending the Bank’s charter – in one form or another – is now supported by a majority of Members of the House of Representatives, meaning that this Congress could pass an extension of the Export-Import Bank’s charter today.”
“Our effort to secure the long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank clearly demonstrates our party’s commitment to sensible fiscal policies that encourage economic growth and development,” said Ranking Member Moore. “For 70 years, the Ex-Im Bank has supported American businesses in the global economy and has proven to be an effective job creator for businesses of all sizes. With this bill, Democrats have sent a strong message to our constituents that our party will continue to prioritize their paychecks over partisan politics. I call on Speaker Boehner to bring up H.R. 1031 for a vote, so we can secure the future of this critical institution.”
“The will of the House is clear, with this rapid and solid showing of support in less than 24 hours,” said Rep. Heck. “ It should now be a no-brainer for House Leadership to move forward on a bipartisan plan and put long-term reauthorization up for a vote.”
“I’m very pleased that more than 190 House Democrats have cosponsored the bill I introduced with Ranking Member Waters, Ranking Member Moore, and Rep. Heck to extend the Export-Import Bank’s charter for seven years and increase its lending authority,” said Democratic Whip Hoyer. “Doing so will provide much-needed certainty to American manufacturers and help create good jobs here in our country that pay well and open doors of opportunity that lead to a secure place in the middle class. I hope more Representatives will join us in strong support, and I call on the Speaker and Majority Leader to bring this bill to the Floor soon so the House can act well in advance of June, when the Bank’s charter is set to expire.”
The legislation includes a number of important reforms to strengthen the Bank, including provisions to expand opportunities and refine Bank products used by small- and medium-sized businesses. In addition, it features provisions to root out opportunities for corruption and fraud and protect taxpayer investments in Bank-supported businesses. It establishes a permanent Chief Risk Officer, which is accountable to the Bank’s Board and responsible for all matters relating to managing and mitigating the Bank’s risk. And it increases transparency, by requiring the Bank to publicly display environmental assessment and monitoring reports on its website no later than 15 business days after the Bank receives these documents, eliminating the cumbersome disclosure process currently in place. It does not contain controversial provisions included in other reauthorization measures that seek to overturn the administration’s guidelines preventing the Bank from financing for overseas power plants that do not adopt environmentally friendly technology.