Effort to force Vote on Ex-Im Bank Gains Momentum
In less than 24 hours, an effort to bypass House Republican leadership and force a vote on legislation to extend the Export-Import Bank's charter has garnered the support of 179 Members of Congress.
Led by three key Democratic members of the Financial Services Committee, the lawmakers have signed a discharge petition; a procedure that, if supported by a majority of the House, would bring legislation to reauthorize and reform the Export-Import Bank up for a vote. Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, led the effort.
"I'm glad to see a strong showing from my colleagues," said Congressman Heck. "These 179 voices agree enough is enough, it's time for a vote."
"This outpouring of support from House Democrats makes clear that we will not wait around for Republican leadership to get their act together," said Ranking Member Waters. "With just 25 legislative days left before the Export-Import Bank closes its doors, I urge my Republican colleagues to consider the warnings of their Speaker, who just yesterday raised concerns about the "thousands of jobs on the line.' I'm proud that so many of my colleagues are standing up to Republican obstruction and siding with an institution that supports jobs, small businesses and economic growth."
"Leaders in both parties have rightfully expressed their concerns about the economic consequences of failing to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank," said Ranking Member Moore. "I am inspired and encouraged to see such a strong collaborative effort behind protecting this critical financial institution. We owe it to American businesses to provide them with the tools and support they need to thrive in the global marketplace. Our country simply cannot afford to lose this essential vehicle for economic growth and job creation and I commend my Democratic colleagues for once again taking action to prevent what can only be described as a looming economic crisis."
Members of Congress are signing the discharge petition for H.R. 1031, which renews Ex-Im's charter for seven years, increases its lending authority to meet the needs of U.S. exporters, and modernizes the Bank's programs to better serve small and medium-sized businesses. Almost immediately after being introduced in February, the measure garnered the support of 190 Democratic Members. A separate measure to extend the Bank's charter has been cosponsored by 60 Republicans, making clear that a majority of the House supports a long-term extension of the Export-Import Bank.
The discharge petition requires a simple majority of House members to sign in order for the bill to be considered on the Floor. Given the importance of the Export-Import Bank to American jobs, small businesses, the economy and our international standing, this will be the first discharge petition of the 114th Congress.
A list of Members who have signed onto the discharge petition will be available here.