NAM: Debate continues on reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank

The New York Times (6/18, Calmes, Subscription Publication) reports that Sen. Lindsey Graham, running in the GOP presidential contest, has “taken a lead in Congress to reauthorize” the Export-Import Bank, putting him at odds with fellow South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney, “the vice chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for the bank, recently drew notice for piquantly dismissing the idea that House Republicans would be pressured into following suit if the Senate approved a bill reauthorizing the bank.” The Times says that the conflict highlights the GOP divide on the government’s role in the economy.

Donnelly Pushes To Renew Ex-Im Bank Charter. The Times of Northwest Indiana (6/18, Maddux) reports that Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) was pushing legislation to renew the Ex-Im Bank’s charter during a Wednesday teleconference, saying that it is “puzzling and ironic” that the GOP now opposes an institution they once “hailed as ‘contributing in a significant way’ to the U.S. economy.” Donnelly warned that manufacturers in his state “could see profits and jobs dwindle” if Congress allows the Ex-Im Bank “to die.”

GE CEO Urges Congress To Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank. The Washington Post (6/17, Jayakumar) reports that General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt is urging Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, saying that he “just can’t envision the US being in a position where we don’t have access [to funding] and a level playing field,” against countries like China and Germany. He added that while GM could quickly adjust with any delays in reauthorizing the government’s lending facility, small and medium-sized companies would have a harder time.

According to Bloomberg Politics (6/17), Immelt stated the he can’t envision GE building “products in places where export credit financing is not available,” and as a result, the “GE union workers are going to suffer if these trade deals don’t pass.” Immelt added that allowing the Ex-Im charter to expire “clears the field of competition for overseas rivals.”