Friday, October 30, 2015

Cleaver: Import-Export Bank helps level the playing field

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

This week in DC we finally reauthorized the Export-Import Bank, the government agency that provides loans and insurance in support of the export of American goods and services. On Tuesday, I voted, along with 312 other Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House, to pass H.R. 597, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the job-creating Export-Import Bank.

The Export-Import Bank helps level the playing field for American manufacturers and small businesses hoping to compete and sell their goods in foreign markets to succeed in the global economy. At absolutely no cost to you as taxpayers, the bank directly supported 164,000 American export-related jobs in the last year alone, and has created or sustained 1.5 million private sector jobs since 2007 including supporting 125 companies and 9,397 jobs in Missouri alone.

It has been nearly four months since the charter for the Export-Import Bank expired at the end of June. That is four months of lost economic opportunity for businesses large and small in the 5th District and across Missouri. On Tuesday, I proudly stood with virtually all my Democratic colleagues and over 120 Republicans to pass this bipartisan bill.

In order to make this vote possible, on October 9, after months of inaction by House Republican leaders, 175 Democrats and 42 Republicans, myself included, took historic action and signed a discharge petition to force the House Republican leadership to bring H.R. 597, reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank, to a vote. Monday night, the House voted to discharge the bill and begin debate on the legislation. Tuesday, the House passed the bill by a vote of 313-118.

The American manufacturers and small businesses that the Ex-Im Bank supports are the backbone of the American economy. Missouri businesses, workers and the communities they support will benefit from the Bank’s reauthorization. That we had to literally force this critical legislation to the floor with a rarely successful procedural measure is disappointing, but I am glad that a number of my colleagues finally put partisan politics aside to work together to send this bipartisan bill to the Senate and then onto the President for his signature.

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