Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today participated in the White House bill-signing ceremony for a bill to reauthorize and expand the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. Larsen helped lead passage of the bill in the House of Representatives after introducing similar legislation earlier in the year.
"With President Obama's signature on this bill, thousands of workers in Northwest Washington can breathe easier knowing that this job-creating bank will still be there to support their jobs," Larsen said. "The Ex-Im Bank supports thousands of jobs at small and large manufacturers across Northwest Washington. Enactment of this law keeps America open for business.
"Over the last few months I have met with workers and small business owners in our region who rely on the Ex-Im Bank to sell their products overseas and create jobs here at home. It does 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."
Larsen took photos at the ceremony, including photos of President Obama with Sharon O'Hara, a member of the Boeing 787 team. O'Hara was on stage during the bill-signing, and was mentioned by the President during his speech in Everett in February. The photos are available here: http://on.fb.me/KHYhHe.
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 eight small businesses, in the last five years. Larsen recently met with three companies in Whatcom County that use the Ex-Im Bank to sell their products overseas. He also met with workers at the Boeing Everett factory. Boeing is one of the largest recipients of Ex-Im financing, which uses the Bank to sell aircraft to overseas customers. The Everett Herald recently called the Bank "an unequivocal success."
The law enacted today expands the Bank's lending cap by $40 billion to $140 billion and extends the charter to October 2014. The Bank's previous charter was due to expire on May 31. This law is very similar to the bill Larsen introduced. House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer credited Larsen's advocacy for the bill when it passed the House of Representatives:
"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."