Update: The bill passed, 313-118. A majority of the Republican conference voted in favor, 127-117, with three not voting. 186 Democrats voted in favor, one against, and one not voting. Reps. Buddy Carter and Rob Woodall, along with all of Georgia’s Democratic delegation voted in favor, while the remainder of the Republicans voted no. Here is the complete results of the vote.
After the vote, Rep. Carter, whose 1st District includes the Savannah area, issued this statement:
Failure to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank puts thousands of jobs in the First District, and across the nation, in jeopardy and puts Georgian and American companies at a dangerous disadvantage against our global competitors. In the First District, the Ex-Im Bank facilitates exports for 17 companies resulting in $501 million in exports and 3,208 jobs. With the recent expiration of the Ex-Im Bank, many of these companies have suffered the loss of millions of dollars in new business growth and market access. I supported reauthorization today because I refuse to sit idly as these jobs, and many others, are lost due to Washington’s failure to act.
Noting that the legislation passed today contains several reforms compared to the previous authorization of the bank, Carter said,
While I would like to see additional reforms, the Bank has been expired for too long and irreparable damage has been caused on American jobs and American job creators. Thousands of jobs have already been lost and thousands more are being put in jeopardy while business contracts are going to our foreign competitors each day Congress fails to act. The legislation passed in the House today is essential to protecting these jobs and letting the world know America is open for business.
For his part, Congressman Woodall, whose 7th district includes portions of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties, issued the following statement:
Growing American jobs remains priority number one, and remaining competitive in a global economy is vitally important to sustaining and creating those jobs here at home. As the world markets become increasingly competitive, it is our family members, friends, and neighbors who pay the price when international commerce becomes more difficult for local businesses. The world wants what America makes. Unfortunately, selling those goods overseas often requires the support of an Export Credit Agency (ECA) such as the Ex-Im Bank. If American manufacturers can’t check that box, then they can’t even get a seat at the bidding table to pitch their products. Failure to reform and reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank leaves our domestic producers with only two options: miss out on willing buyers or move their manufacturing facilities and jobs overseas and pursue financing eligibility from another nation’s ECA. The decision to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank guarantees that America’s manufacturers have a seat at the table and that America’s workers have a family paycheck.
By including significant reforms in this bill that will increase overall lending to small businesses, prohibit discrimination based on industry or sector, and mandate extensive financial audits of the Ex-Im bank, we take an important step toward prioritizing the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. However, we should begin work today pursuing a level playing field through trade compacts that eliminate the use of ECA’s globally and lead global markets to a free market system that we all know works.
The legislation now moves to the Senate. Earlier, the Export Import Bank was approved as part of a separate vote on the Senate’s version of the highway bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he opposes the measure as a standalone bill.
* Original Post *
Earlier this afternoon, the House debated whether to reauthorize the Export Import Bank, whose charter expired back in July. The bank is opposed by most Republicans, who say it promotes crony capitalism. It reached the House floor via a procedure known as a Discharge Petition, in which 218 representatives, mostly Democrats, requested a vote on the measure.
One of those signing the discharge petition was Rep. Buddy Carter of Savannah, and Carter took to the floor during today’s debate to advocate for the bill.
In his speech, Carter said,
In the First District of Georgia, the Ex-Im Bank facilitates exports for over 17 companies, more than half of which are small businesses, over $500 million in exports and supports over 3,200 jobs. Around Georgia, these numbers jump to more than $4 billion in exports from 205 companies supporting almost 30,000 jobs. With the recent expiration of the Ex-Im Bank, many of these companies have suffered the loss of millions of dollars in new business growth, market access, and risked thousands of jobs.
While we stand here debating the future of the Ex-Im Bank, our competitors are leveraging their own versions of their export-import agencies to increase their market shares abroad.
Carter’s Savannah based district includes Gulfstream Aerospace, a major user of the Export Import Bank. In a voice vote that followed the end of the floor debate, the measure appeared to fail. However, a machine recorded vote was requested, and it will be held later. The recorded vote is expected to pass with mostly Democratic support.