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Public Statements

Export-Import Bank

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Export-Import Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States of America.

Mr. Speaker, it is so frustrating to see this normally bipartisan effort to support the American economy get hijacked. I would bet, Mr. Speaker, that this bill could pass on suspension, that two-thirds of this House would be willing to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, if we were to put it to a vote on this floor--but no. Instead, we are forced, once again, to yield to a minority of the majority--the Tea Party--which demands the decapitation of an economic development and jobs creator giant--the United States of America's Export-Import Bank.

Why is this? Is it because the Bank doesn't work? No. It is an example of how government effectively could partner with the private sector. The Bank puts U.S. exporters on equal footing when foreign competitors have foreign export aid, and it bridges the gaps in the private market.

The reality is that, in the global marketplace, our competitors are aggressively using their export banks. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is my district, is still very much a manufacturing economy--the second in the Nation relying on this sector. Every day, workers in Milwaukee compete against foreign workers with extensive and aggressive foreign export credit agency backing.

Today, the United States Export-Import Bank supports an estimated 205,000 export-related jobs in the United States. My fellow Republican Wisconsin colleagues--Representative Ryan and Representative Sensenbrenner--not long ago urged Bank financing because ``all steps should be taken to reinvigorate the economy and bring jobs to the United States.'' With higher than average unemployment in Milwaukee, the need for the Bank has not changed. Not only does the Bank support jobs, but it makes a profit from its operation and pays funds back to the U.S. taxpayers--$5 billion since 1990.

Opponents don't acknowledge that. Instead, they call for gimmick accounting, or, as my CPA and tax attorney colleague Representative Brad Sherman calls it, ``fairytale value'' accounting. Further, opponents claim that the Bank exclusively helps big corporations, yet 90 percent of the Bank's activities help small business, and that number is on the rise. Just ask Apple Steel Rule Die in Milwaukee, a company you have never heard of because it is not a big company. In fact, new reports from The Brookings Institution show that the failure to reauthorize the Bank hurts small and medium-sized businesses the most.

I hear Delta testify against the Ex-Im Bank, and then, hypocritically, turn around and use foreign export credit agencies for their fleet. By the way, Delta would qualify to use more foreign export credit to buy foreign-made Airbus aircraft if Congress does not reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. For real, colleagues, do any of us believe that Delta will turn down foreign support to buy an Airbus plane or a plane from the Chinese? Come on now. I have got a bridge to sell you.

Opponents also say the Bank only supports 2 percent of exports. Exactly. The Bank's mission is limited. It does not compete when private financing is available. The Export-Import Bank's fees are higher than U.S. commercial bank fees. It is not in competition. It works in concert with banks here in the United States. This is further proof that the Bank is working. However, that 2 percent still supports a lot of economic activity in Milwaukee. When I am back in my district, unions and businesses--large and small--are hand in hand, saying reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

We use the rhetoric of jobs an awful lot around here in Congress. Now is the time to take a powerful stand for U.S. jobs and U.S. workers. Actions speak louder than words. I urge my colleagues to support the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

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