Let’s Learn a Lesson from ExIm Shutdown

For four months, House Republican Leadership shuttered the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that supports American exports and levels the playing field for U.S. manufacturers overseas. This ‘politics-over-people’ move led by the extreme wing of the House GOP caucus has already put hard working Americans out of work, including more than 200 in Schenectady, New York, in the district I represent.

After months of bipartisan calls for House Leadership to own up to their mistake and bring legislation to a vote that would reopen the Export-Import Bank, they were finally pushed this month by way of a discharge petition that forces a vote on H.R. 597 — a bill that reauthorizes the agency and extends its charter through Fiscal Year 2019.

That vote succeeded yesterday on the House Floor by the expected overwhelming and bipartisan vote of 313–118.

After fighting every day for four months to revive this job creating, deficit reducing agency, I am proud to say that the Export-Import Bank will soon reopen and begin again to support quality American jobs at companies large and small in every state across the nation.

As this manufactured and unnecessary crisis is nearing its end, I would urge my colleagues in the House Republican caucus to learn a lesson from their shutdown of the Export-Import Bank and the ensuing negative consequences that came as a result of their actions.

Let’s not do this again.

Let’s learn a lesson from the shutdown of the Export-Import Bank and the missed economic opportunity we’ve seen over the last four months. Let’s apply that lesson to the myriad deadlines we face this fall.

From the Highway Trust Fund to the raising the debt limit to yet another government funding deadline that could spur a second Republican shutdown of the government in two years, there are nothing but landmines that Congress can use as opportunities to learn a lesson from the shutdown of the Export-Import Bank.

Let’s not do this again.

Our economy and hardworking families are not bargaining chips that can be tossed aside to score political points. And they are not doing as well as they could be because of the shutdown tactics of the past four years.

The shutdown of the Export-Import Bank — albeit temporary — is the latest evidence of that.

I am happy 127 out of 247 Republicans joined every Democrat in reopening ExIm this week, bucking their own leadership and putting American jobs over politics. It is my hope that more of their caucus will embrace the reality of the consequences that are risked when the shutdown politics of the recent past reigns over Congress.

Let’s not do this again.

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