Approaching Recess, Waters Blasts GOP for Ex-Im Inaction
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At today’s press conference discussing House Democrats' “Make It In America” jobs legislation, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, blasted Republicans refusal to take action to renew the Export-Import Bank’s charter.
Waters criticized Republicans for heading into a five week Congressional recess without moving legislation to renew the Bank, and pointed out that upon Congress’ return, there remains only 10 legislative days left before the Bank expires September 30. Moreover, she made the point that an overwhelming majority of the House supports extending the Bank’s charter – and legislation doing so could pass the House today.
Waters will continue discussing the Bank at a special order tonight on the House floor.
I’m saddened to be here today – and I’m in disbelief.
Tomorrow, after wasting time on a partisan lawsuit, Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership will leave town for a five-week Congressional recess – and legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank hasn’t even seen a vote in the Financial Services Committee.
When we return in September, there will be just 10 legislative days to renew the Bank before it is forced to close its doors on September 30.
The result could be the end of an institution that over the past five years has created or sustained 1.2 million jobs, supported $233 billion dollars in U.S. exports and turned a $1.5 billion profit.
Regardless of the outcome, Republicans have already created uncertainty for thousands of American companies trying to compete against businesses in China, Korea and across Europe – all of which have their own version of the Ex-Im Bank.
They’re businesses like Firmgreen and its owner Steve Wilburn, who recently told our Committee that he lost a $57 million contract to a South Korean company – due to the uncertainty of the future of the Export-Import Bank.
It bothered me when critics of the Bank began slandering people like Steve with the term “crony capitalism.”
So I began reaching out to them – holding meetings in my district and here in Washington. I asked them to email and write me, telling their stories about their experience working with the Bank. Let me just say, the outpouring has been overwhelming. Business owners from across the country have reached out and educated us about their businesses and how Ex-Im helps keep them competitive.
This afternoon, my Democratic colleagues will join me in a special order to discuss the importance of the Bank, and we will share some of those letters.
While the 113th Congress will go down as one of the most polarized in history, it’s important to note that the Export-Import Bank is not a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans support the renewal of the Bank. In the House, at least 41 Republicans have publically expressed their support for renewal. And more than 200 Democrats have cosponsored Congressman Denny Heck’s bill to renew the Bank – legislation that would pass the House today.
Today, I urge Republican leadership and Mr. Hensarling to stop the uncertainty -- and reauthorize Ex-Im quickly and without controversy.
Enough is enough.