House Passes Ex-Im Reauthorization

May 9, 2012

On Wednesday afternoon, the House passed the Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011 (H.R. 2072)which reauthorizes the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank for another three years. This bill will enable the Bank to continue to play an integral role enabling U.S. companies—large and small—to export goods and services around the world thus creating and maintaining thousands of U.S. jobs.

The Bank’s charter is set to expire at the end of the month, and Ex-Im is on the verge of hitting its $100 billion lending cap. The proposal—which reached the House floor under suspension of the rules, and required two-thirds support—would raise the Bank’s borrowing limit to $140 billion over the next three years. The House passed H.R. 2072 with a vote of 330-93—securing 147 Republicans and 183 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill.

H.R. 2072 offers gradual increases to the exposure cap starting at $120 billion in 2012, and then by $10 billion the next two years, ultimately reaching $140 billion in 2014, provided certain default requirements are met. The three-year authorization also includes increased transparency and reporting on the part of Ex-Im Bank on myriad topics, including the Bank’s small-business services. Additionally, as part of the deal, the Treasury Department will have to submit regular reports on the status of negotiations with other countries to cut or reduce import and export subsidies.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) reached a deal on the reauthorization late Friday that paved the way for Wednesday’s vote. As recently as March, the Republican leader was proposing a much shorter extension and cap of $113 billion to appease conservatives in his party. This agreement shows real dedication and bipartisan efforts by both sides who recognized that Ex-Im turns export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.

Ex-Im Bank remains a catalyst for the expansion of small-business exports while continuing to support businesses confronting aggressive foreign competition. In fact, for FY 2011, Ex-Im Bank set a record in its support of small business at $6 billion—an increase of more than 20 percent since 2010. Furthermore, in 2011 alone, Ex-Im Bank supported 290,000 jobs and $41 billion in exports.

The Senate must also approve reauthorization, but the House agreement increase chances a bill reauthorizing the bank will be on President Barack Obama’s desk before the Bank’s charter expires later this month. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated the measure enjoys broad support and the Senate will take up the bill, but he did not say exactly when it will occur.

Please click here to view NSBA’s press release.

Please click here to view NSBA’s letter of support for the bill.