Waters Remarks on the Need for Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank
At today's press conference to discuss, among other issues, the need for action to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, underscored the importance of a quick renewal of the Bank's charter to create and sustain American jobs.
At the press conference, Waters and Financial Services Committee member Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) talked about yesterday's panel discussion on the importance of reauthorization of the Bank's charter to create and sustain American jobs. The event featured the perspectives of a diverse array of business owners, large and small, unions and key members of Congress. To view the webcast of the panel, click here.
Waters remarks are below.
As prepared for delivery:
Thank you, Whip Hoyer. I know I speak for all of us who are strong supporters of the Export-Import Bank when I thank you for the central role you played in passing the Bank's reauthorization last Congress, and for your ongoing efforts to ensure the Bank's charter doesn't expire.
As Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, I want to express my appreciation for making the Ex-Im Bank a core component of House Democrats' "Make It In America" plan for jobs and competitiveness.
I was very pleased that Whip Hoyer joined me and Democratic members of the Financial Services Committee yesterday on a forum I organized to discuss the important role the Bank plays in helping to create and sustain U.S. jobs. We heard from a diverse array of business owners who have been able to sell their products overseas, expand their businesses and create jobs because of the assistance provided by the Export-Import Bank. These companies are the backbone of our economy, and the Bank strengthens them in that important role.
The statistics speak for themselves – over the past five years, the Bank has supported 1.2 million private sector jobs. And just last year, Ex-Im provided more than $11 billion dollars in support to the manufacturing sector alone. Although the Bank's programs provide essential support to business of all sizes, the majority of the Bank's authorizations go to small businesses, which made up nearly 90 percent of total transactions last year.
And finally, the Bank doesn't cost taxpayers a dime – it's self-sustaining and last year generated a record profit for taxpayers of more than $1 billion dollars that went directly into the U.S. Treasury.
But while the Bank's success is clear, a number of far-right Republicans believe that the U.S. should abolish the Bank. Doing so would undercut U.S. businesses, resulting in lost jobs and depressed economic growth.
The September 30 expiration of the Export-Import Bank's charter is rapidly approaching. And in the Financial Services Committee, Republicans have not even scheduled a hearing to begin the important work on reauthorization.
Today, the Democratic Party is once again calling on Republicans to end the uncertainty for American businesses and reauthorize Ex-Im quickly in order to support American jobs and exports. As we learned at yesterday's panel, our foreign competitors are already using this uncertainty to win contracts that would otherwise be going to U.S. businesses. At this critical time for our nation's economic recovery, we cannot afford another self-inflicted wound.