The future of the Ex-Im Bank continues to hang in the balance…and an official with the National Association of Manufacturers says you can make a difference.
In a Manufacturing and Mining Webinar with Associated Industries of Missouri, NAM’s Director of Trade Facilitation Policy Lauren Airey said help is needed now to push legislation aimed not only at saving the bank but creating a long term extension for it.
House Resolution 597 sponsored by Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee would extend the Ex-Im Bank’s charter beyond its current June 30th end to 2019. Airey says the resolution is supported by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, including most of the Missouri delegation in the U.S. House.
“The members of the Missouri delegation have been a huge help, especially those on the Financial Services Committee, including Rep. Ann Wagner, Rep. Sam Graves and Rep. Billy Long,” said Airey.
But the problem with passing HR 597 may be the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, (R-Tx.), who has been an opponent of the Bank.
“We think we have the votes to pass the legislation on the floor of the House, but we don’t know if Chairman Hensarling will let the bill out of committee,” said Airey.
Airey said Republican congressional members are split in their support of the Ex-Im Bank.
“It’s not that they don’t see the benefits of the Bank, but some Republicans have a higher political argument that the government shouldn’t be helping private businesses,” said Airey.
In the Senate, Airey says there is a bipartisan effort underway in legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin of (D-West Virginia) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois). Airey says the legislation is still in its formative stages, and it appears Sen. Roy Blunt is taking a leadership role in forging compromises to move the bill forward. Sen. Claire McCaskill also supports the Bank.
“Now is the time we need to hear from manufacturers in Missouri that support Ex-Im,” said Airey. She urged Missouri business leaders to visit the exportersforexim.org website for more information. You may click here for more information about the bank’s importance for Missouri businesses. The site is full of statistics and stories about how Missouri businesses use the bank.
“We need you to write your lawmakers and use personal stories, anecdotes, about how you use the bank, and its importance to your company and industry,” said Airey. “The forces on the other side of the issue are very prominent in electronic media and use Twitter and other message services well, so we need you to help us there, too.”
“Our lawmakers need to hear from manufacturers and other business owners who rely on exports, the stories of successes using the Ex-Im Bank,” said Airey. “This is a government entity that pays for itself, and creates a profit of more than $1.5 billion a year for the nation’s general fund.”
Airey emphasized that time is of the essence. The charter for the Ex-Im Bank runs out on June 30th.