Once again, House Republicans are acting against their own claims that they are the pro-business and pro-jobs party championing economic growth and opportunity. Newly-elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Sunday that he will not support reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank despite its critical contribution to our nation’s economic competitiveness and the creation of manufacturing jobs. In light of this economically detrimental decision, we wanted to make sure you saw Sunday’s USA Today editorial: Keep Export-Import Bank. Here are a few of the highlights:
“One of the most vexing economic developments in recent decades has been the decline in manufacturing jobs. An industry that employed nearly 25% of the workforce in the 1970s today accounts for only 7.8%... The loss of these jobs has reduced opportunities for people without a college degree to move into the middle class.”
“So it comes as a surprise that some Republicans — including newly-elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. — are out to demonstrate their ideological purity by killing the one agency of government that does the most to promote manufacturing exports.”
“Among other things, [the Export-Import Bank] guarantees loans (at a price) for foreign buyers of U.S. wares and sells insurance to American companies dealing in risky parts of the world. By its own estimation, it is directly responsible for 205,000 American jobs and makes a small profit that allows it to send cash to the Treasury.”
“In the real world, many overseas buyers prefer — or even require — that their suppliers have financial assistance from their government.”
“For these and other reasons, the Ex-Im Bank plays a vital role in facilitating U.S. exports and, by extension, jobs in manufacturing. This is a position equally shared by right-leaning groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and left-leaning labor organizations.”
“Should the U.S. suffer more losses in manufacturing jobs so that some groups can show how ideologically pure, and unaware of the practicalities of global commerce, they really are?”
In 2012, the House of Representatives voted to renew the Export-Import Bank by a vote of 330-93. 183 Democrats joined 147 Republicans, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, in renewing the Bank’s charter. So what’s different this go-around? It’s time for House Republican leaders to start acting in the interest of Americans and our nation’s economy instead of the ideological factions of their deeply divided party.