EXPORT-IMPORT BANK REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2006 -- (House of Representatives - December 06, 2006)
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Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Madam Speaker, my congratulations to the two gentlewomen who are presiding over this bill. I think this is one more example, as this Congress draws to a close, of the way in which the Committee on Financial Services under the leadership of our retiring chairman, the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Oxley, was able to deal in a very bipartisan way on issues that deserve to be bipartisan.
I always want to point out that partisanship is a good thing in a democracy and there are issues where the parties legitimately ought to be presenting different viewpoints. The important thing is not to allow those legitimate differences to spill over and poison the ability to work together where there aren't differences of an ideological sort. This is an example.
Indeed, I want to thank the Members on the majority side for accommodating many of the concerns that we had here. The gentlewoman from New York who took the lead in forging this compromise from our side correctly mentioned some of them.
But in particular we have always felt that it is important to promote engines that help the economy grow but to recognize that growth does not automatically produce fairness. In our job, we have seen it as when we deal with these pro-growth engines, as I believe the Export-Import Bank can be when it is done right, that we put in some elements of fairness, and that is what has been done here with regard to smaller businesses, with regard to women and minorities.
Indeed, our colleague, the gentlewoman from New York, Ms. Velázquez, who will chair the Small Business Committee in the next Congress, had some particular concerns, some of which have been accommodated, and I want to take this opportunity to say that if I become the chair of the committee, and the gentlewoman from New York will still be on the committee and will still be playing a major role, we intend to further work with the gentlewoman from New York, Ms. Velázquez, to make sure that small business gets a piece of this.
Let me say, in an ideal world, we wouldn't have an Export-Import Bank. If there were no interventions in the market by other countries, there would be no need for this entity. But neither in economics nor in the military area do I think that unilateral disarmament makes sense; and I would hope, and we did this with regard to China, that this would be regarded as an instrument to be used in the legitimate self-defense of American industry. And to the extent that we can ever negotiate a disappearance of this kind of export subsidy everywhere, then I would be in favor of our dropping it. But until then, we need to be able to deal in this world, and I think this bill does this in the best possible way, and I thank the gentlewoman.
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