Today, Democrats on the Financial Services Committee upended a markup of 13 measures focused on capital formation for American small businesses to demand immediate action to renew the Export –Import Bank (Ex-Im). Led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee, Democrats highlighted the benefits of the Bank in their districts, while noting that with only 18 legislative days until it expires, the Republicans have yet even hold a hearing on legislation to renew the Bank.
Throughout the hearing, Ranking Member Waters touted the benefits of the Bank in Republican districts, listing manufacturing companies in Kentucky and Michigan, among others.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) discussed the importance of the Bank to Minnesota, a border state that relies on exports to grow the state’s economy. Countering the claims to the contrary, Ellison remarked that out of the 171 businesses supported by the Bank in Minnesota, 114 are small businesses.
Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas) outlined support the Bank has delivered to businesses in their states. In Missouri, 130 businesses have received support from Ex-Im, with 22 companies in St. Louis receiving nearly $500 million in support from the export credit agency. Mr. Hinojosa noted that 1,600 Texas businesses have received $19 billion in support from Ex-Im.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) joined the chorus of Democrats pushing for the Bank’s renewal, urging the Chairman to honor the democratic process and bring legislation up for a vote. Rep. David Scott (D-GA) questioned Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) directly, prompting a promise to continue to “carefully review” renewal measures.
Later, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) touted the investments of the Bank in her home state, and the benefits to the communities in which these companies are housed, pointing to the more than 350 companies that have received support amounting to $3 billion in export value.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Ranking Member of the subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, expressed disappointment in the extremist Republican ideology that has made the Bank’s future uncertain. She underscored the benefits of Ex-Im, which has returned nearly $7 billion to America’s coffers over the last two decades.
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), characterized the Bank’s expiration as “unilateral surrender” to our foreign competitors, citing several countries with their own export credit agencies that help businesses create jobs overseas. Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), a leading sponsor of renewal legislation that has garnered the support of 190 Democrats in the House, noted that a vote on an extension of the Bank’s charter would show Republicans are serious about helping small businesses create jobs. With nearly 60 Republicans supporting an alternate form of renewal legislation, the Bank could be renewed today if brought to a vote on the House floor.
Committee Democrats made clear their commitment to support job creation and provide American businesses, large and small, with the tools they need to compete and win in the global marketplace. With only 18 legislative days until the Bank expires, Democrats vowed to continue to highlight the consequences of inaction – both to their Republican colleagues and the American public at large -- which threatens the creation of American jobs and triggers unnecessary insecurity for U.S. businesses looking to expand and grow into international markets.