News Releases

Nearly 100 WA businesses used program in 2014, now affected by Congress’ failure to reauthorize 81-year-old agency
 
Now that the House has passed Export-Import reauthorization, Sen. Murray urges Senate to follow suit
 

Senator Murray at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce today.

 

(Washington, D.C.) –  Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) was at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in downtown Seattle to highlight how critical the Export-Import Bank is to Washington state’s economy and small businesses. Senator Murray was joined by representatives of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and local business owners to explain how the Export-Import Bank charter lapse has threatened their businesses’ ability to support local jobs and sell Washington products, including apples, airplane parts, wine, beer, software, and medical supplies, around the world. Last year, the Export-Import Bank helped 90 businesses in Washington state, 63 of which were small businesses.

 

“It’s wrong to use the Bank as a political football—and I plan to take the stories of the business owners with me today—back to the other Washington, so my colleagues in the Senate know exactly what is at stake when they play games with programs that help Washington state workers,” said Senator Murray in her remarks.

Following successful passage of a bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank in the U.S. House of Representatives in October, Sen. Murray urged Republican leaders to take action. Sen. Murray strongly supports reauthorizing the 81-year-old agency, citing its benefits to Washington state’s economy. The Export-Import Bank’s charter lapsed June 30th due to Congressional inaction.

Full remarks as prepared are below:

“Thank you for being here. I’m going to start with the encouraging news out of Washington DC. In the past few weeks, Congress proved it could work together to create jobs and provide some stability for American families. Instead of being pushed into another completely unnecessary crisis, we passed a budget that built on the bipartisan deal I worked out with now-Speaker Paul Ryan in 2013. We restored investments in health care, education, jobs, and other Washington state priorities. And that is really good news for Washington families, communities, and the economy.

 

“As this budget process moves forward over the next few weeks, I’m going to keep working to make sure Washington state families have a voice at the table. And I am going to keep fighting back against those members of Congress who are already talking about trying to find another opportunity to attack women’s health care, workers, and middle class families. I’m hopeful Congress can get this done for the American people. Now—that’s the encouraging news. Unfortunately, the Senate is still dragging its feet on a program that is critical to Washington state’s economy, workers, and families.

 

“Four months ago, the Export-Import Bank—in operation for more than 80 years—went dark because a handful of Tea Party Republicans thought it was more important to score political points with their base than to continue a program that helps small businesses in Washington state and across the country. The reality is, the Export-Import Bank is what should be a non-controversial program that has had bipartisan support for decades. But now—because of a petty political fight in Washington, DC – the Ex-Im Bank can’t give out new loans. And that hurts our state’s economy.

 

“It’s wrong to use the Bank as a political football—and I plan to take the stories of the business owners with me today—back to the other Washington, so my colleagues in the Senate know exactly what is at stake when they play games with programs that help Washington state workers. Last year, nearly 100 businesses in Washington state, the majority of them small businesses, used the bank’s services to help sell their products overseas. We’re talking everything from apples and airplane parts, to beers and wine, to boat lifts, to software and medical training supplies.

 

“People in other countries want the products that are made right here in Washington state—and that’s a great thing, because these businesses support thousands of jobs and keep our state’s economy moving. That’s something every member of Congress should get behind, especially because Ex-Im does not cost taxpayers a single penny. In fact, the Ex-Im Bank reduces our deficit! So here’s the bottom line – we need to push back on Republican leaders who are letting partisan pandering put the brakes on a program that creates jobs, strengthens our small businesses, and helps our economy grow from the middle out, not just the top down.

 

“That’s worth fighting for, as far as I’m concerned. And I’m going to keep fighting for my colleagues in the Senate to put ideology aside, restart this proven program, and make sure Washington state businesses can continue to create jobs and add to our state’s economy. And I’ll be sharing the stories I’m hearing today to make sure Washington state families have a voice at the table. Thank you.”