Obama Throws Support Behind Ex-Im Bank

In his August 23 weekly address, President Obama called for a full reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that supports American jobs by financing deals for foreign companies to buy U.S. goods.

In his weekly address, President Obama asked Americans to use Congress’ August recess to demand their elected officials support a full reauthorization of the suddenly controversial Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.

Click here to tell your Representative to support a full reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.

“Past Congresses have [voted to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank] 16 times, always with support from both parties. Republican and Democratic presidents have supported the bank too,” said Obama. “This time around shouldn’t be any different, because the bank works. It’s independent and it pays for itself. But if Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad, will take a completely unnecessary hit.”

Click here to watch Obama’s full address.

Tea Party Republicans have targeted the Ex-Im Bank for closure, even though the agency supports hundreds of thousands of American jobs – including many at IAM-represented companies – by financing the sales of U.S. exports to international buyers. The bank, which doesn’t rely on taxpayer funds and returned over $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury in 2013, will begin shutting its doors September 30 if Congress doesn’t act.

U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) has used his chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee to stall Ex-Im’s reauthorization, despite support for the bank from many moderate Republicans. Foreign competitors like China, India, France and Germany all have foreign export credit agencies that dwarf the amount of financing the U.S. Ex-Im Bank provides.

In the midst of an economic recovery, small and large businesses alike need the Ex-Im Bank to compete in the international marketplace, said Obama.

“Tell [your Representative] to quit treating your business like it’s expendable, and start treating it for what it is – vital to America’s success,” said Obama. “Tell them to do their jobs. Keep America’s exports growing. Keep America’s recovery going.”

One bill to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank has been introduced in the Senate. Two other measures are being drafted in the House. Congress will have only three weeks to pass a reauthorization bill once it goes back into session on September 8.

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