New Dems Applaud Ex-Im Discharge Petition Reaching 218 Signatures

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Washington, DC, October 9, 2015 | comments

Today, more than 40 Republicans joined Democrats, including every New Dem present, in signing a discharge petition to bring legislation to the House floor to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, marking the first successful discharge petition since 2002.

The authority for the bank lapsed on July 1st of this year and has since weakened the ability of U.S exporters to do business abroad.  For years, the New Democrat Coalition has advocated for maintaining the Export-Import Bank. The Bank has created and maintained U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers and actually returns money to the Treasury for deficit reduction every year. In FY 2014 alone, Ex-Im supported more than 164,000 private-sector jobs and $27.4 billion worth of U.S. exports, generating a $675 million surplus. Almost every developed country has an Ex-Im bank to help its businesses and not having one puts the U.S. economy at a severe disadvantage. Unfortunately, despite a clear majority of the House of Representatives supporting renewal of the Bank’s charter, House Republican leadership has refused to bring reauthorization to the floor. 

“In the three months since Ex-Im’s authority expired, companies have already started moving hundreds of jobs to other countries as credit has dried up and the bank’s future remains uncertain,”said Coalition Chairman Ron Kind (WI-03). “Today’s action by pragmatic Republicans is not only important for renewing the Export-Import Bank, but also represents a bold statement for putting the country ahead of partisanship on issues important to our economy.  I am hopeful that we can build on this momentum for other issues with consensus in the reasonable center of this body.”

“I wish it didn’t have to come to this,”said Coalition member Denny Heck (WA-10), who has led Democratic efforts to reauthorize the bank. “The rarity of a discharge petition is such that it only happens in extreme situations. We’ve reached a point in the House of Representatives where a majority of members had to sign on in order to stand up for the jobs in their districts, many of which have already been lost due to inaction. This is a powerful sign that the majority of us are fed up with this political brinkmanship and are committed to bipartisan solutions to lift the American economy.”

“Helping our businesses sell their goods overseas creates jobs here at home. Since Republicans allowed the Bank to expire this summer, major U.S. companies have announced they are losing sales and moving jobs overseas to take advantage of export assistance that other countries offer. Since 90 percent of the Bank’s transactions support small businesses, they are taking the hardest hit and no longer have access to the financing needed to get their products into the hands of international consumers” said Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), co-chair of the New Dem Trade, Critical Infrastructure, and Manufacturing Task Force. “I am pleased to join with my colleagues today in a bipartisan effort to revive the Export-Import Bank, a critical tool our manufacturers use to expand their sales around the world. Congress should do the right thing for jobs and get this done.”

The next step for renewing the Bank will be a vote on the House floor, which will come in late October.

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