Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today helped lead passage of a bill to reauthorize and expand the Export-Import Bank. Larsen introduced a bipartisan bill (HR 4302) to reauthorize the bank earlier this year, and has worked to persuade his colleagues to support reauthorization. The bank's charter is currently set to expire on May 31. Larsen today spoke on the floor in support of HR 2072, the result of a bipartisan compromise between Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. (Video here, audio here, full text below).
"The Ex-Im Bank supports thousands of jobs in Northwest Washington. Passage of this bill keeps America open for business," Larsen said. "It will allow us to expand our exports overseas while creating more jobs here at home. And it does all this without costing taxpayers a single dime. In fact it is an investment that pays dividends back to the U.S. taxpayer, helping to reduce our deficit by $1.9 billion in the last five years alone."
In Washington's 2nd Congressional District, the Ex-Im Bank has helped finance the sale of more than $22 billion in exports from 13 companies, including 7 small businesses, in the last five years alone.
"Over the last few months I have heard from hundreds of workers in Northwest Washington whose jobs rely in part on the Ex-Im Bank," Larsen added. "Last week I met with small manufacturers in Whatcom County that use the Ex-Im Bank to sell their products overseas. The legislation we passed today will help workers across our region at these small businesses and at large companies including Boeing."
The bill, which passed today on a 330 to 93 vote, expands the Bank's lending cap by $40 billion to $140 billion and extends the charter to October 2014. The bill passed today is very similar to the bill Larsen introduced.
"Congressman Larsen's tireless advocacy was instrumental in securing a deal to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which helps exporters like Boeing and others compete overseas and keep jobs here in America," said House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer. "This agreement will help further our recovery and make it easier for businesses in Washington State and across the country to reach new markets and expand their operations, which in turn will help put more Americans back to work."
Ferndale-based Western Chemical uses the Ex-Im Bank to sell their fish health products overseas to customers in South America and Europe. CEO Steven Becker recently sent a letter to Larsen thanking him for his support of the Ex-Im Bank.
In the letter, Becker wrote, "The Ex-Im Bank has been indispensable in allowing our business to grow to $2M in annual Washington state exports this year and $5 million next year and supports 25 full-time employees Without the support of the Ex-Im Bank, our business would have surely faced stagnant or deflated revenue during the recent recession and continued to face one-sided, subsidized export arrangements abroad."
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