For the second time this week, House Republicans today rejected a Democratic motion to bring legislation to reauthorize, reform and re-energize the Export-Import Bank up for a vote. Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) joined Congressman Al Green (D-TX) in leading the effort to bring the measure, H.R. 1031, to the Floor of the House using a parliamentary procedure called the "previous question."
Entitled the “Promoting U.S. Jobs through Exports Act of 2015,” the legislation would create and sustain critical American jobs by extending Ex-Im’s charter for seven years, increasing its lending authority, and modernizing the Bank’s programs to better serve small and medium-sized businesses. Sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Heck and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the bill now has 190 Democratic co-sponsors in the House. Currently, a majority of the House has supported some form of legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank.
Waters and Heck also led a “previous question” proceeding earlier this week.
“I am disheartened that Republicans have once again blocked consideration of this common-sense proposal that would renew the Export-Import Bank, an institution that has created or sustained more than 1.2 million private sector jobs over the past five years,” commented Congresswoman Waters. “For a second time this week, Republicans who claim they support the Bank chose party loyalty over sustaining real American jobs and supporting American small businesses. But with only 103 days left until the Bank closes its doors, this will not be the last time we force Republican Bank supporters to make that choice.”
“H.R. 1031, Promoting Jobs Through Exports, which would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, has not received a fair hearing: it has not received a markup in the Financial Services Committee; and it has not been accorded an opportunity to come to the floor,” Congressman Al Green said. “In Texas, a top exporting state, we have approximately 1,630 exporters who utilize the Export-Import Bank. In my Ninth Congressional District, 46 small businesses use the Export-Import Bank: 14 of these are minority-owned and five are owned by women. The bank is making a difference. We must not eliminate an entity that is important to the prosperity of small businesses and is such a vital part of our economy.”
Congressman Heck added, “Failure is happening now in the absence of action from Congress. I don’t know what the opponents in this body say to all the hardworking American businesses and their dedicated employees if this standoff continues.”
The push by Democrats comes in response to a rejection by Financial Services Committee Republicans to using regular legislative procedure to advance a measure to reauthorize the Bank. Led by Chairman Jeb Hensarling (D-TX), Republicans last month voted down an amendment offered by Waters, Moore and Denny Heck urging the Committee to follow “regular order” when it comes to the Bank.