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Key GOP rep: Ex-Im benefits small business

Just a few days after its nine-month reauthorization, Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeHouse report says lawmakers could securely cast remote votes amid pandemic Next Congress expected to have record diversity Native Americans elected to Congress in record numbers this year 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.