Business Leaders Call on House Republicans to Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank

Yesterday, House Democrats, led by Rep. Denny Heck, introduced legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The bill has 200 co-sponsors, and when you combine that with the 41 Republicans who signed a letter in support of the Bank, guess what? That means a bill would pass the House! The question now is whether House Republicans leaders will put a bill on the Floor. Business organizations across the country are already weighing in and expressing their strong support for the Export-Import Bank, which plays an important role in supporting jobs, helping small businesses, and keeping America’s manufacturing sector competitive in the global marketplace. Here’s a look at a few of today’s headlines:

Wall Street Journal: GOP's Attack on Export-Import Bank Alarms Business Allies

“Mounting opposition among House Republicans to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is stirring alarm among business groups, adding new tensions to a long-standing alliance with the GOP that has grown increasingly shaky with the rise of tea-party-aligned lawmakers.”

“Business owners and trade groups already frustrated this year by the House's inaction on an immigration overhaul pushed back this week against the latest evidence of conservative lawmakers dismissing industry priorities. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have made reauthorizing the agency, which helps support U.S. exports, one of their top goals.”

“In a major push coordinated by the Chamber and the national manufacturing group, 865 companies and business organizations signed a letter calling on Congress to reauthorize the agency.”

“‘Shutting down the U.S. Ex-Im Bank is good for business and creates thousands of jobs…in China, Russia and France,’ reads a print and online ad that will be launched Wednesday by the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade group.”

“Some business groups have started emphasizing the consequences if Congress doesn't extend the agency's charter, which would prevent the agency from backing new financing and force it to start winding down its loan portfolio. The agency's supporters say that would give an advantage to the nearly 60 other nations that have their own agencies to help finance exports.”

Los Angeles Times: Shift in GOP leadership leaves Export-Import Bank at risk of closing

“Boeing said it would be at a competitive disadvantage without the bank because its main competitor, Airbus Group in Leiden, the Netherlands, has the support of export finance agencies in France, Germany and Britain.”

“‘The airplane market is highly competitive, and every deal is won or lost by the slightest of margins,’ said Boeing spokesman John Kvasnosky. ‘Any uncertainty in financing availability could unnecessarily tilt the field against Boeing, putting thousands of manufacturing jobs at risk.’”

“Top business groups have launched a full-scale effort to save the bank.”

“’This is about the American economy and the fact that we are today more than ever before in a global, competitive economy,’ said Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ‘We think the Ex-Im Bank can help us meet that challenge.’”

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday the bank has wide support in that chamber.”

“If the House takes up legislation to reauthorize the bank, it's likely to pass because of strong Democratic backing. Two years ago, 183 Democrats joined with 147 Republicans to extend the bank's charter for two more years and increase the limit on its overall credit exposure to $140 billion.”

“On Monday, 42 House Republicans wrote to McCarthy and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) urging them to ‘move forward with a multi-year reauthorization of Ex-Im that provides certainty and stability for U.S. manufacturers and exporters of all sizes.’”

“Boehner and McCarthy voted to reauthorize the bank two years ago.”

The Export-Import Bank supported more than 200,000 jobs in FY 2013 and helped more than 3,4000 American companies, many of which were small businesses. So why are leaders of the “pro-jobs,” “pro-economic growth” party suddenly against this valuable economic resource? House Republican leaders need to do what’s best for American workers and our nation’s economy by working with Democrats to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank before it’s too late.

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