During a markup of 13 legislative proposals focused on capital formation for small businesses, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, led her fellow Democrats in criticizing Republicans for failing to consider legislation to renew the charter Export-Import Bank, an entity that helps American businesses grow and create jobs.
With only 18 legislative days until the Export-Import Bank shuts down, the top Democrat expressed concern with the uncertainty and instability that has been created among the thousands of businesses who rely on the Export-Import Bank to create jobs, grow their businesses and stay competitive. She noted the irony of focusing on bills that help small business while the Committee’s Chairman, Jeb Hensarling, actively works to end the Bank.
Full text of Waters’ remarks is below.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Today we consider a number of legislative proposals that attempt to help companies raise capital. Many of these measures have come before our Committee previously.
In the past, some of these proposals have been bipartisan, and I applaud my colleagues for accepting Democratic amendments that make improvements to them.
However, some of these proposals make changes to the securities laws that may unintentionally reduce the transparency and investor protections that long have made our capital markets the envy of the world.
I’m concerned that these changes may make it harder for investors, analysts, regulators and the public to evaluate the investment potential of certain companies. And I’m cautious that, if they are even willing to invest at all, investors may respond to these bills by imposing a risk premium on our job creators that is far greater than any touted savings.
I’m also wary of how this patchwork of bills will interact with one another and with current regulatory efforts. A piecemeal approach may unnecessarily eliminate valuable investor protections, and thereby undermine investor confidence and hamper the very goal that these proposals are designed to achieve: promoting capital formation.
As we mark up these proposals today, we need to remember that capital formation is not just about the costs of businesses seeking funding. The creative ideas of our entrepreneurs will only succeed if they have the confidence of investors.
Mr. Chairman, there are a number of bipartisan proposals on today’s agenda that are designed to help small businesses raise capital and grow. But most concerning to me is the bipartisan, pro-business legislation that continues to remain absent from the agenda -- legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank’s charter.
I continue to be disturbed that as this Committee purports to consider measures that help small businesses grow and expand, the future of the Export-Import Bank – a proven engine of growth for businesses, exports and the economy – remains uncertain. In fact, Mr. Chairman, with just 18 legislative days left until the Ex-Im Bank’s charter expires in June, you have yet to hold a single legislative hearing to consider legislative proposals to renew the Bank, even though this Committee held two hearings in just three weeks on these bills. And just yesterday, as members of your own party held a hearing in support of Ex-Im, you took the time to hold a press conference to announce that you will not bring a bill to keep the Bank open up for a vote -- a continuation of the intransigence that has already bred uncertainty and instability among the thousands of businesses who rely on the Export-Import Bank to create jobs, grow their businesses and stay competitive.
The uncertainty over the Bank’s charter has already cost American businesses contracts and opportunities to grow and expand. Soon, it could cost those businesses and the communities that depend on them, thousands of jobs. In fact, some businesses are already announcing that they are seriously considering moving manufacturing operations to countries that support exports. China, Russia, and European countries all have their own version of the Export-Import Bank – and we are handing these countries – and their businesses – a competitive advantage should this Congress fail to renew the Bank’s charter.
Mr. Chairman, virtually every Democratic Member of this Committee—and of this House – has lined up in support of legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank. In addition, 60 members of your own caucus have publically disagreed with you on Ex-Im – and cosponsored legislation that would renew the Bank’s charter for the long-term. I’m convinced that, as with issues surrounding the National Flood Insurance Program, many Republicans will soon say “enough is enough” – and persuade the more reasonable factions of your leadership to do what is necessary to bring the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization to a vote we all know will be overwhelmingly favorable.