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Waters: Republican Brinksmanship on Ex-Im Threatens Survival of American Businesses in Global Marketplace

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Washington, DC, June 3, 2015 | comments

As Republicans in Congress continue to run out the clock on the Export-Import Bank, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, condemned the Majority’s continued ideological attacks in the face of bipartisan support from a majority of the House of Representatives. Waters underscored that just 14 legislative days remain until this economic engine for growth shuts down, and levied criticism at Chair Hensarling (R-TX) for eleventh-hour brinksmanship that will harm our economy, weaken American businesses and eliminate critical American jobs.

During a hearing to “Examine the Government’s Role in Export Financing,” the top Democrat pointed to the high stakes facing American business owners like Michael Boyle, the Democratic witness who has expanded his business from eight employees to 60 with the help of the Bank. She went on to urge consideration of measures that would reauthorize and reform the Bank in the longer term.

Waters also praised the 60 Republicans who have publically offered their support of the Bank.

Full text of Waters’ remarks is below.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

It’s the eleventh hour for the Export-Import Bank. Only 14 legislative days remain until this engine of economic growth shuts down.

For two years, Democrats on this Committee, and many Republicans, have asked the Chairman to listen to reason with respect to the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization. We have pushed for action in this Committee because, for the thousands of American jobs and businesses across every one of our states and districts that count on Ex-Im’s support, the stakes are high.

With 190 Democrats on record in support of a multi- year extension of the Bank’s charter, and 59 Republicans on a separate reauthorization measure – including five on this very Committee – the facts are unequivocal: a majority of the members of the Financial Services Committee – and of the House of Representatives – support keeping the Export-Import Bank up and running for the long-term.

In light of the staunch opposition from this Chairman, I’d like to take a minute to thank Representative Stephen Fincher for having the courage to stand up for what he believes is right, by offering legislation that commits to a long-term reauthorization of the Bank.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that the Bank faces closure in just 14 legislative days, these two bills to reauthorize its charter are gathering dust in the Chairman’s office.

Mr. Chairman, while you continue playing games with the Export-Import Bank, today we will do our best to remind you of the real people who will be impacted by shutting it down. Later in this hearing, you will hear from Michael Boyle, Chief Executive Officer of Boyle Energy Services & Technology. Mr. Boyle is a Republican, and his energy firm is located Manchester, New Hampshire – right in the district of Rep. Guinta. He’s going to tell this Committee about how the Export-Import Bank took his business of eight employees and helped it expand to 60 presently.

For some reason, that engine of economic growth, which allowed Mr. Boyle to grow and expand his business, is the latest ideological target of this Committee.

Mr. Chairman, we’re not legislating in a vacuum. Closing the Export-Import Bank will have real consequences for businesses trying to survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

I’m disappointed this game continues and I yield back.”

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