With just ten days left for Congress to act before the Export-Import Bank shuts down, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, took to the House floor to call on House Republican leadership to bring renewal legislation to a vote.
Stressing the importance of the agency to creating and sustaining American jobs in every corner of the nation, Waters outlined the shortsightedness of allowing the Bank to expire, which would put hundreds of thousands of American jobs and businesses at risk.
Waters criticized ideologues in the extremist wing of the Republican party for using Ex-Im as a litmus test and once again bringing our nation to the brink of damaging our national economy with this latest standoff.
Waters’ full remarks are below and online here.
As prepared for delivery
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I rise today to remind my colleagues that just 10 legislative days remain for Congress to act before the Export-Import Bank shuts down.
It’s outrageous that we are here today in this countdown, as the hands of the clock have become a knife-edge pressed against the future of American businesses and the jobs they create. The Ex-Im Bank has a proven track record of supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in every single Congressional district across this Country. And the fact that anyone would even consider shutting it down is shortsighted – and harmful to our economy. Ex-Im supports our businesses and our workers all while not costing taxpayers a dime. In fact, over the past two decades the Bank has generated a profit of close to seven billion dollars – a true win-win for our taxpayers.
But for the ideologues who are committed to chopping away government programs that support our nation’s students, seniors, exporters and others, the facts don’t really matter. They just see ending the Bank as a conservative litmus test.
Mr. Speaker, it is simply shameful that the extremist, anti-government wing of the Republican party has once again pushed us to the brink of actively damaging our nation’s businesses – and our competitiveness – with this standoff.
It doesn’t have to be this way. A majority of the House of Representatives is already on record in support of a long-term reauthorization of the Bank. And it’s time for Speaker Boehner to intervene – by immediately putting a measure to keep its doors open for a vote on the House Floor.
For two years, despite the calls from Democrats and Republicans, Chairman Hensarling has made it clear that this manufactured crisis is exactly what he has wanted all along.
This is not a fight between Democrats and Republicans; it’s a fight between ideology and reason in the Republican party.
While the ideologically-driven crusade to eliminate the Bank may be a game here in Washington, it certainly isn’t a game for the hundreds of thousands of businesses all over this country.
It certainly isn’t a game for Michael Boyle, a Republican and veteran, who recently testified that, thanks to the Bank, he has been able to quadruple his company’s revenue, and expand his business from just eight employees to 60 currently.
Mr. Boyle’s story is the American story of thousands of businesses across this country – large and small – that rely on the Bank to compete on the global stage.
And nevertheless, in the United States Congress, we are talking about shutting down one of the best resources our businesses have – just to make a political statement.
As the deadline for reauthorizing the Bank nears, I have been encouraged to hear increasingly from some of my Republican colleagues who have come out and said “enough is enough.”
We have 10 more days, let’s get busy and get this Bank reauthorized. And I’m asking Speaker Boehner to exercise leadership and get it done.