Vote Explanation for H.R. 597
Today the House passed H.R. 597, which would reauthorize the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States. I voted for this bill because the Ex-Im Bank supports American manufacturing jobs as well as businesses in El Paso. Over the past five years, the Ex-Im Bank has financed over $5 million per year on average in exports for El Paso businesses.
The Ex-Im Bank was created in 1934 and acts as the United States’ export credit agency. Many other countries have organizations like the Ex-Im Bank, which helps finance the purchases of domestic products by foreign countries. The Bank does not compete with private lenders, as it can only finance purchases that the private sector would not normally accept due to risk, among other reasons. The bank’s charter expired in June of this year, so it has not been able to make new loans since that time, and many American businesses have been left unable to apply for credit to help export their goods abroad.
Traditionally, there is bipartisan support for reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank. Recently, however, opponents of the Ex-Im Bank have prevented a vote on such a bill through regular order. Because the bank is important for many jobs around the country, the House used a procedure to force a vote on the bank’s reauthorization called a Discharge Petition. The Discharge Petition, which I signed, garnered more than the 218 signatures from both parties necessary to force the vote, and the House passed the bill today by a vote of 313–118.
I expect this legislation to be approved by the President quickly so the Export-Import Bank can continue to support manufacturing jobs around the country.