News Releases

Murray, Cantwell, Heck to Speaker Boehner: Let House Vote on Ex-Im Reauthorization

Jul 08 2014

WA members to Speaker: “We see no reason for members of either party to waver in their support, and we are confident that a reauthorization vote would pass the House once again with strong, bipartisan backing”

The entire, bipartisan Washington state delegation voted to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank in 2012

(WASHINGTON, DC) –Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and U.S. Representative Denny Heck (D-WA-10) urged Speaker of the House John Boehner to hold a vote in the House to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank before its charter expires on September 30.  The members expressed confidence that a reauthorization vote would pass the House with bipartisan support, as it has in years past, with backing from both Republicans and Democrats, including the entire Washington state delegation.

“Throughout the Bank’s 80 year history, which includes 15 separate charter reauthorizations, Republicans and Democrats have offered strong, often unanimous support for this critical institution,” the members wrote.  “We see no reason for members of either party to waver in their support, and we are confident that a reauthorization vote would pass the House once again with strong, bipartisan backing. We therefore urge you to ensure the House votes to reauthorize the Bank before September 30.”   

The Export-Import Bank is the export credit agency for the United States, and it finances or insures the purchase of U.S. goods by foreign customers. Unless Congress reauthorizes the Bank’s charter by Sept. 30, it will be forced to stop its assistance to U.S. exporters, threatening export deals for hundreds of companies in Washington state and across the country.

The Export-Import Bank has been reauthorized two-dozen times since it was created in 1934. The entire Washington state delegation – in both the House and the Senate -- voted for the bank’s reauthorization in 2012. The Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization is backed by business groups around the country, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable. Nationwide, it has supported $233 billion in exports since 2007.

With one in three jobs supported by trade, Washington state would be the hardest hit state in the nation if the bank is not reauthorized. In Washington state alone, the Export-Import Bank supports more than 85,000 jobs and more than $20 billion in exports each year.     

The full text of the letter follows:

July 8, 2014

The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Speaker Boehner:

We write to you today regarding the importance of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank before its charter expires at the end of the fiscal year.  Throughout the Bank’s 80 year history, which includes 15 separate charter reauthorizations, Republicans and Democrats have offered strong, often unanimous support for this critical institution. We see no reason for members of either party to waver in their support, and we are confident that a reauthorization vote would pass the House once again with strong, bipartisan backing. We therefore urge you to ensure the House votes to reauthorize the Bank before September 30.   

Trade is critically important to the continued growth of our nation’s economy and to our home state of Washington.  In 2013, U.S. exports reach $2.3 trillion, with Washington exporting a record-breaking $81.9 billion in goods and services.  A key part of this export growth in Washington state and across the nation, including your home state of Ohio, is attributable to Ex-Im.  In Washington state, Ex-Im supported 84 companies, including 64 small businesses, in 2013 alone.  Companies selling goods from airplanes to wood products to lentils (and more) benefitted from Ex-Im programs in the past year, and we consistently hear from our constituents, particularly small business owners, of the value Ex-Im provides to their companies as an important export finance tool to help grow their businesses.

Washington, of course, is not the only state benefitting from Ex-Im.  As we are sure you know, 114 Ohio companies benefitted from Ex-Im financing in 2013, including 98 small businesses.  Companies from your home state exported products across the world, as close as Mexico and as far away as Russia.

Across the country, these statistics are echoed.  Ex-Im plays an important role in helping businesses reach and expand to new markets.  3,413 small businesses exported $37.4 billion of goods and services with the support of Ex-Im last year; these exports, in turn, supported 205,000 export-related jobs in 2013, all while the Bank returned $1.057 billion to the U.S. Treasury.  An agency that reduces the deficit, supports a level international playing field for U.S. companies, and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country is an agency that deserves robust support from Congress.  

Failure to reauthorize the Bank would place American companies at a serious disadvantage to international businesses, particularly those with access to the 60 official export credit agencies worldwide not in danger of closing.  By not reauthorizing the Bank, you will unnecessarily put American jobs at risk at a time when the focus should be on ways to continue to grow the economy. 

There is no good reason to delay the reauthorization of Ex-Im, and we encourage you to work with your colleagues and move your chamber toward reauthorizing this successful public-private partnership. In fact, reauthorization has even occurred by voice vote in your chamber and by unanimous consent in the Senate.  When last reauthorized, Ex-Im was unanimously supported by the Washington state delegation, both Republicans and Democrats. Members of Congress have no excuse to reverse their previous support for the Bank, and we are confident that reauthorization would pass the House once again with strong bipartisan support.

We firmly believe this reauthorization is too important to be delayed.  The continuation of Ex-Im is not a political issue, it is a jobs issue.  We look forward to working with you to ensure the Bank is reauthorized so that thousands of American businesses, large and small, can continue to benefit from Ex-Im programs each year.