Key GOP rep: Ex-Im benefits small business

Just a few days after its nine-month reauthorization, Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeTrump's best week ever? McCarthy raises over million in Q4 for House GOP GOP leader warns lawmakers on fundraising: 'Getting our ass kicked' MORE (R-Okla.) on Monday defended the Export-Import Bank, saying it benefits small businesses, including those in his district.

“While the existence of Ex-Im is sometimes questioned, I believe the current benefits felt by businesses across the country, in Oklahoma and the Fourth Congressional District argues strongly for its reauthorization,” he wrote in a column released by his office.

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The stopgap spending bill President Obama signed Friday extends Ex-Im’s charter through June 30. Conservative lawmakers had threatened not to reauthorize the bank before its September 30 expiration date.

Cole, a member of the House Appropriations and Budget committees, argued Ex-Im has helped more than 100 Oklahoma-based companies export their products overseas.

Since 2007, Cole said, Ex-Im has supported more than $1.1 billion in sales in Oklahoma.

“In an era when foreign governments are directly subsidizing industries, American companies are in need of a level playing field, and I believe that Ex-Im does that responsibly. In fact, Ex-Im has returned more than $2.6 billion to the United States Treasury since 2008,” Cole wrote.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) recently expressed support for Ex-Im’s nine-month extension, but the short-term plan could lead to its elimination next year.