By Vicki Needham - 02/07/14 05:52 PM EST
House Democrats on the Financial Services Committee are calling for panel leaders to hold a hearing on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which they argue bolsters job and economic growth.
In a letter to Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and subcommittee Chairman John Campbell (R-Calif.), 26 Democratic lawmakers said the bank is a self-sustaining agency that has helped maintain or create 1.2 million U.S. jobs in the past five years.
"It is urgent that Congress reaches a bipartisan reauthorization agreement so U.S. companies can continue competing in the global marketplace.”
The letter, led by Heck and Reps. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), touts the bank’s importance in leveling the playing field for U.S. businesses that compete in the global economy.
“The reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank is vital to growing our economy, generating good jobs for American workers, and expanding business opportunities for our best companies,” Clay said.
The bank's authorization expires Sept. 30.
The bank, headed by Fred Hochberg, went through a tough reauthorization fight two years ago. Eventually, a bill was approved to increase the total financing the bank can guarantee — to $140 billion from $100 billion — and renew its charter for three years, through 2014.
The House and the Senate provided broad support for the reauthorization bill.
The bank, created in 1934, provides loan guarantees to foreign companies that want to do business with U.S. exporters.
“The bottom line is that the Export-Import Bank supports American jobs. I urge my Republican colleagues to act swiftly to reauthorize this proven jobs engine,” Moore said.