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Letter to House Democratic Caucus - Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank


Date: Nov. 2, 2015
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Democratic Colleague,

As a result of our strongly unified effort, House Democrats earned a major victory for American businesses and workers last week by discharging and passing the Export-Import Bank reauthorization bill (H.R. 597) with a bipartisan vote of 313-118. The Senate, which has already passed this legislation as an amendment to its highway bill, should take up this stand-alone measure and send it to the President's desk for his signature.

In the meantime, this week the House is considering a highway bill that contains the Senate-passed Export-Import Bank reauthorization language.  This language is identical to the bill passed by the House last week, and it provides us with a second path to enactment of reauthorization in the face of Majority Leader McConnell's obstruction of H.R. 597 in the Senate. 

Unfortunately, in an effort to block the Export-Import Bank's reauthorization, a number of opponents of the Bank have filed amendments to the highway bill that would kill reauthorization efforts.  Regardless of the merits -- or lack thereof -- of individual amendments, the simple fact is that adoption of any amendment would open this issue to damaging and potentially fatal changes during the highway bill conference.  As a result, we urge you to oppose all Ex-Im amendments during Floor consideration.

Already, hundreds of Americans have lost their jobs as a result of Republican opponents shuttering the Bank at the end of June.  Thousands more have seen their jobs placed at risk as American companies lose sales to foreign competitors benefitting from the assistance provided by eighty-five export credit agencies around the world.  We cannot afford to risk further delay in re-opening the Bank by adopting poison pill amendments designed to derail its reauthorization. 

Thank you again for your support of H.R. 597, and please join us in sending another strong message in support of the Export-Import Bank by opposing all amendments to this portion of the highway bill.