Mere hours before the Export-Import Bank’s charter is set to expire at midnight, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, joined Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) in expressing their disappointment about the Republican-driven shutdown of America’s export credit agency.
In remarks addressed to media, Waters outlined the immediate effects of the shutdown on American businesses, as 195 transactions estimated at $9.1 billion in value will be indefinitely held up until the Bank is reauthorized. Waters went on to criticize Republicans who ignored bipartisan support for the Bank on both sides of the aisle, and the detrimental impact it will have on American businesses and workers who rely on it. The Ranking Member also underscored that Democrats will continue to push relentlessly to get the Bank reauthorized for the long-term.
Full text of Waters’ remarks are below.
“Tonight at midnight, the Export Import Bank will shut down, and our economy, businesses and workers will be dealt another unnecessary blow by the far right wing of the Republican party.
The impact of this shut down will be felt almost immediately. The Bank has confirmed that 195 transactions currently in its pipeline would be indefinitely held up as a result of this lapse. These transactions are estimated to total over $9.1 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance. Unless Congress acts to renew the Bank’s charter, these transactions – and the American jobs they support – will hang in the balance.
While the Republican fringe will undoubtedly declare victory as the Bank shuts down, so too will countries like China, Russia and countless others – which now have a competitive advantage over American workers, products, and businesses.
I’m very disappointed it has come to this point. Democrats have tried relentlessly to convince Republicans of the consequences of the Bank’s closure. We have held forums, press conferences and local meetings. We have attempted multiple procedural maneuvers on the House Floor – and even used committee hearings to demand a vote. We have brought in real business owners who have already lost contracts due to the uncertainly surrounding the Bank – all to convince our colleagues that this institution is an engine of jobs and economic growth.
But our calls have fallen on deaf ears. Speaker Boehner, a supporter of the Bank who has admitted a shutdown could cost ‘thousands of jobs,’ has refused to act.
I remain particularly disappointed given that we know – unequivocally – that there is support for a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank’s charter in both chambers of Congress.
This failure to act is unconscionable. And this Congress has damaged an institution that has allowed countless businesses grow, expand and sell their products in foreign markets. It has created or sustained more than 1.3 million private sector jobs over the past five years. And in the past two decades, it has returned more than $6.9 billion back to the American taxpayers.
I remain hopeful that this shut-down will be short lived. We have the votes, and when we return in July, we will continue pressing Republican leadership to take action to ensure the Bank’s charter is extended for the long-term.”