MAKE IT IN AMERICA; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 141
(House of Representatives - September 29, 2015)

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                           MAKE IT IN AMERICA

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Stefanik). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 6, 2015, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Tonko) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. TONKO. Madam Speaker, undeniably, the issue that we hear about 
the most in our districts across America is the need to create a 
climate that grows jobs to allow the dignity of work to be realized by 
our constituents and to enable them to earn a sound paycheck.
  We can ill-afford to play games with the jobs agenda. We need to do 
everything within our power to be able to provide for those resources 
and develop those policies that will create that climate that grows 
private sector jobs and enables public sector jobs to administer the 
services that we require as a Nation.
  For years, I have been coming to this floor, speaking with great 
fervor about the Make It In America agenda, making certain that we take 
great pride in that opportunity that we, as a Nation, have always 
embraced: the pioneer spirit, the innovation that challenges us today.
  That Make It In America agenda has many, many needs. I have spoken to 
the need for implementing sound manufacturing policies, retrofitting 
our centers of employment, our manufacturing centers, so that they can 
compete with cutting-edge technology on their side.
  I have advanced the concern and the issue of funding research, making 
certain that we do things smarter, which will enable us to be more 
competitive in those economic sweepstakes on an international scale.
  I have focused on STEM education, making certain in this innovation 
economy that we have those scientists, technology-driven types, 
engineers, math majors, that can take us forward with the sort of 
skills and talent that we require.
  I have talked about improving our infrastructure to make certain that 
commerce's demands for sound infrastructure will be met so that they 
can ship their products and transport their products. I have talked 
about the need to grow our exports as a Nation.
  Well, I believe this can be boiled down to a simple message. The idea 
is to make more, use less, and sell it everywhere, in other words, 
promote domestic manufacturing, enhance our efficiency--energy 
efficiency and, across the board, all types of efficiency--and then 
enable us to then export American-made goods.
  Well, this trio has been hindered of late because of a refusal to 
reauthorize in this House the Export-Import Bank, which is a great 
service that allows for loans, loan guarantees, and can stand as an 
insurance policy, a government creditor, for contracts when bid upon by 
our private sector industries and businesses. That damage, that delay, 
had been troublesome.
  I have come to this floor many times. I have joined with my 
colleagues in press conferences. I have invoked our leadership to bring 
the measure to the floor because I think, if we do, it passes.
  I have talked also about signing on. I have signed onto petitions to 
discharge, to make certain, again, that we raise the public 
consciousness to this growing concern of lacking the reauthorization of 
our Export-Import Bank.
  Well, the damage came and hit my district. I would say to America we 
in Congress, this House and its leadership, are playing with fire 
because now we have a major corporation--in this case, GE in my 
district--that will be transitioning hundreds, 500 or more, jobs to 
France because of the lack of an Export-Import Bank here.
  There are some 84, 85 Export-Import Banks around the world. Some 60-

[[Page H6701]]

nations have this concept at their grasp. So the French Government has 
authorized the Export-Import Bank to be utilized by GE.
  Now I witness hundreds of jobs in my own district that will be 
transferred to another set of workers, damaging the American Dream of 
people that I represent. This is unthinkable, unthinkable.
  This could be avoided. All it takes is a simple exercise to bring an 
issue to the floor, bring the bill to the floor, of which I am a 
cosponsor, and act on it. I believe wholeheartedly that, in a 
bipartisan fashion, that measure would pass.
  So tonight we are going to use these minutes to advocate for the 
Export-Import Bank, to have that vote brought to the floor. We will 
begin with the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), who is a friend, a 
leader in our House, and is our minority whip.
  Representative Steny Hoyer, thank you for joining us this evening.
  Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Tonko) has been a 
leader on our agenda of Make It In America. It is a jobs plan which has 
included reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank as a way of helping our 
businesses and workers compete on a level playing field 
  Since the bank's charter expired on July 1, many small- and medium-
sized exporters have been left without a critical resource, forced to 
compete with foreign companies that have the support of more than 80 
foreign export credit agencies.
  Uncertainty over the bank's future has already led businesses to 
announce jobs being moved overseas. My friend from New York talked 
about General Electric moving hundreds of jobs from his district and 
other districts as well.
  Jeff Immelt, the president and CEO of GE, was here. He talked to 
Democrats and Republicans and said: You are hurting American jobs. Yet, 
we do not have the Export-Import Bank reauthorization on the floor even 
though, Madam Speaker, it enjoys a majority support in this House.
  We have heard a number of very sound arguments for why Congress ought 
to pass a multi-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank without 
further delay.
  One of those, Madam Speaker, came from Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom 
Donohue, who wrote on September 17--this is the Chamber of Commerce 
president, not Steny Hoyer, the democratic leader.
  He said this: Every major trading nation has an export credit agency 
like Ex-Im. . . . Failure to reauthorize Ex-Im would amount to 
unilateral disarmament in the face of other governments' far more 
aggressive export credit agencies. He went on to say: American 
companies are being forced to compete with one hand tied behind their 
  Another comes from 28 Governors on a bipartisan basis who sent a 
letter to us and said this: Failure to act--meaning failure to 
reauthorize the Export-Import Bank--will place American industries at a 
significant disadvantage in the global marketplace and harm businesses 
in our States.
  The Governors, bipartisan, said: We strongly urge you--we, the 
Congress; we, the House of Representatives--to pass a long-term 
reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
  Let me add, Madam Speaker, another voice to this discussion as well. 
That is the voice of Speaker Boehner, who said in April: There are 
thousands of jobs on the line that would disappear pretty quickly if 
the Ex-Im Bank were to disappear. The Speaker has also said, when he 
took office, that the House ought to work its will.
  Madam Speaker, the votes are on the floor of this House to pass the 
reauthorization. Republicans and Democrats are working together to help 
create American jobs, retain American jobs, grow our economy, and be 
competitive internationally. It is now time to put the principle into 
practice of letting the House work its will.
  Sixty Republican Members of this House have cosponsored a bill to 
reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank.

                              {time}  1645

  If you add up the 180-plus Democrats who have signed a discharge 
petition and those 60 Republicans, you get to 240. You only need 218, 
so clearly we have the votes to pass it.
  I say to the Speaker and the majority leader, the House's will is 
clear. The effects of allowing the Ex-Im shutdown to continue are 
clear: more and more jobs being sent overseas. Our responsibility as 
the representatives of thousands of businesses and workers is very 
clear. Bring the Export-Import Bank to the floor for a vote.
  I want to thank Ranking Member Maxine Waters, Ranking Member Gwen 
Moore, and Representative Denny Heck for their continued leadership on 
this issue. I want to thank my friend Representative Tonko from New 
York for leading today's Special Order on such a critically important 
issue, an issue that we all speak to, that we all say we are committed 
to, that we all say we want to work towards, and that is creating jobs 
for Americans in America. I thank my friend from New York.
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the gentleman from Maryland for his voice on this 
  It is clear that the Democrats in this House are staunchly for 
reauthorization of this concept. When people talk about the tools in 
the toolkit that are required, growing exports is a very important part 
of the equation for economic recovery and economic growth.
  This concept of an Export-Import Bank reduces the deficit by some 
$675 million, at last annual count, and grows jobs to the tune of 
164,000, per the last count. So reduce the deficit and grow jobs; isn't 
that the mantra that we hear time and time again from folks who 
represent all of America in this House of Representatives? It stands to 
reason that we bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
  America should not tolerate this. The business community, the 
commerce voices of this Nation, from chambers of commerce across this 
country is resonating with we the Democrats in this House. We need 
reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. What don't we understand? 
Let's go forward and encourage that that vote be taken very, very soon.
  One of the people that I get to serve with is a longtime friend. We 
have served in the New York State Assembly together, and we now serve 
here in the United States House of Representatives together. We have 
been very concerned about job growth in New York State and, in 
particular, along that manufacturing corridor called the Erie Canal 
which gave birth to a number of mill towns that then became epicenters 
of invention and innovation. Today they stand as inspiration as to how 
to speak to that pioneer spirit that is within our DNA as a nation.
  I yield to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Slaughter), my good 
friend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts this evening. Thank you for 
joining us.
  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Thank you, Mr. Tonko. I am delighted to be here with 
  Mr. Tonko has pointed out that he and I were elected to the New York 
State Assembly on the same day. We have worked diligently while we were 
there for the people of New York to try to better their lot, and it is 
so wonderful now that we are working for all 50 States and New York, 
again, in mind. The people who sent us here knew that we stood for 
things like the Ex-Im Bank, knew that we understood that if we did not 
have a strong economy, we couldn't do much of anything else in our 
district like provide a good education and health care, and that the 
economy was the backbone of what we are doing.
  I appreciate your yielding me this time to discuss the importance of 
the Export-Import Bank.
  Mr. Tonko, it is incredible to me, frankly, that we should have to 
come to the House floor to call for the Ex-Im Bank's reauthorization. 
It is an important agency that has worked to ensure a level playing 
field around the world for the United States exporters for more than 80 
years. Last year alone, Ex-Im supported 164,000 United States jobs 
through $20.5 billion in export insurance, loans, and loan guarantees, 
and all while returning $675 million to taxpayers, because it is 
essentially a revolving fund which is paid for by the user fees. So 
here we have an agency sponsored by the government costing us basically 
nothing, putting money back into the Treasury, which makes companies 
eligible to be able to sell their goods throughout the world.

[[Page H6702]]

  Now, my district of Rochester, New York, is home to advanced 
manufacturers on the cutting edge of research and development, and we 
do need the Ex-Im Bank to help market our products worldwide. The Ex-Im 
has supported 685 jobs and $158 million in exports in Rochester since 
2010. In June, I toured Lumetrics, which is a leading Rochester 
manufacturing firm that Ex-Im has helped support the sales of precision 
instrument gauges to customers in 14 countries.
  Now, unfortunately, since June 30, manufacturers like this in 
Rochester and across the country have lost a valuable tool and many 
nights' sleep because a handful of members of the House majority are 
blocking the Ex-Im's reauthorization for reasons we cannot divine. As 
Mr. Hoyer pointed out, we have Governors, the Chamber of Commerce, 
people all over this country, as well as corporations, telling us that 
this won't do.
  We are now starting to see the effects of this misguided policy. As 
stated before, General Electric announced that it was shipping 500 jobs 
abroad because other countries are willing to provide the financing 
help that we no longer will. Boeing has lost two major satellite 
contracts to foreign competitors because of the Ex-Im Bank. Those are 
two of our largest employers. I am even more concerned with the 
hundreds of small manufacturers and thousands of employees whose jobs 
are now at risk without the Ex-Im Bank's support, and for no reason 
that we can come up with.
  I call on the House leadership to bring a reauthorization bill to the 
floor. It would pass without question and would allow this Ex-Im Bank 
to get back to the important work of helping to create quality, 
American jobs.
  I thank you so much, Mr. Tonko, not only for putting this together, 
but for the extraordinary work that you have done here and in Albany to 
better the life of the people we serve.
  Mr. TONKO. You are most welcome. I thank the gentlewoman from New 
York for lending her voice to this discussion.
  As was made mention by the gentlewoman from New York, many small 
businesses, startups, innovative types, entrepreneurs, and medium-sized 
businesses utilize the Export-Import Bank. This is not just a tool for 
large industry. When we look at something like GE, when people say: 
``Well, doesn't a large business, an industry like that, sit upon 
enough funds to make this happen, to make this contract work?'' they 
required for this contract on which they bid to have a government 
creditor to back up this bid. That means the Export-Import Bank.
  There are certain elements of this concept that are utilized for 
different contracts, and in this case, the government creditor status 
of the Export-Import Bank made the deal possible for GE.
  So, with that, we now move to a good friend, a very rigorous voice 
for his constituents in Minnesota and a very aggressive voice for job 
creation across this country.
  Representative Nolan, thank you for joining us for this Special 
  Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Nolan).
  Mr. NOLAN. Thank you, Mr. Tonko.
  I want to commend you. There is no more powerful and articulate 
advocate for good jobs--protecting good jobs and creating new jobs--in 
this Congress than you, yourself, Mr. Tonko.
  In that regard, I would be remiss if I didn't also commend 
Representative Heck for some of his important leadership on this 
important issue, and Mr. Hoyer for his buy American initiatives.
  Mr. Tonko, as you and perhaps others know, I spent 32 years of my 
life in business as an owner and operator of a sawmill, a pallet 
factory, and an export trading company. In the process, you learn a few 
things. One is I learned that you expand an economy, you create new 
wealth, and you create new jobs in three important ways:
  One is through innovation and discovery, developing new products and 
putting them out in the marketplace. Another is by providing financial 
incentives for people to invest in new products and new business. 
Thirdly, you do it by exporting those products to the rest of the 
world. That is one of the ways you bring some of your wealth back into 
your country.
  That is one of the reasons why it is so vital and that it is so 
important. That is what the Export-Import Bank is all about, as you 
pointed out so eloquently, especially for small- and medium-sized 
companies; because the fact is the big companies, the big 
multinationals that are based here in the United States, they have got 
offices all over the world. They have got relationships with all the 
international banking institutions. They have got all the resources 
that they need to qualify a buyer or to provide the financing for the 
production and the sale of their product.
  But the small- and the medium-sized companies don't have those kind 
of resources. They don't have those same kind of advantages. Yet they 
may be small and medium-sized by American standards, but by world 
standards, they are still big, good-sized companies, and they have got 
good products the rest of the world wants and the rest of the world 
needs, things that can improve the life of people all over the world.
  To succeed in exporting, again, as you have pointed out, they need 
some help, and they need some support identifying and qualifying a 
customer. They don't have those offices around the world. Their local 
banks don't have those kind of offices around the world, so it makes it 
more difficult for them to secure the financing, to qualify the buyers, 
and to expand their sales into that export market. That is where the 
Ex-Im Bank comes in. The Export-Import Bank provides all of these 
essential services.
  That is why the banking community supports a reauthorization. That is 
why the National Manufacturers Association supports reauthorization, 
and that is why the National Chamber of Commerce supports this 
reauthorization. Anybody that knows anything about businesses and 
creating jobs supports the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.
  Again, as you pointed out, there is bipartisan support for this here 
if the Speaker would just allow us to have a vote on this because the 
American Export-Import Bank helps American businesses expand their 
export operations, increase their profits, and create all kinds of 
good-paying jobs.
  Last year alone, Ex-Im was responsible for supporting 164,000 jobs. 
That is a remarkable, remarkable accomplishment. In my own district, 
there are at least a dozen companies that are using the Export-Import 
Bank to support their export sales creating hundreds of good jobs. They 
exported some of the world's finest products. In fact, Cirrus Aircraft 
in Duluth, Minnesota, one of our Nation's premier aircraft 
manufacturers, exports more than 30 percent of their products, and they 
rely on the Ex-Im Bank.
  Remember--remember--as you pointed out, just as importantly, the 
Export-Import Bank doesn't cost the taxpayers a penny. The companies, 
the local bankers, all the parties to these transactions pay a fee for 
their services, and those fees pay for the Bank's operations. It is an 
incredible operation. Over the last two decades, the Ex-Im Bank has 
contributed over $7 billion to deficit reduction from the profits they 
made through this.
  We should have more government entities that can do this. However 
fortunate we are, Mr. Speaker, to have banking services like this and 
enjoy such broad support from both those who are concerned about 
reducing the deficit and from those who are concerned about expanding 
export sales, expanding business opportunities, and creating new jobs, 
that is what the Export-Import Bank does. It creates jobs, it expands 
opportunities, and it reduces the deficit.
  Yet for reasons that truly defy explanation, there are elements in 
this Congress that oppose reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and all 
the good that it does for business in reducing deficit.
  So I applaud you, and I call on my colleagues to come to their good 
bipartisan senses and do what needs to be done here. Let's get this 
Export-Import Bank up and running again, growing our economy, creating 
good jobs, supporting our entrepreneurs, and bringing down the deficit.
  Mr. Tonko, thank you so much for this Special Order and all the work 
you are doing to help bring this about and make it happen.
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the gentleman from Minnesota.

[[Page H6703]]

  We have very little time remaining, so we are going to reach to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Lipinski) and the gentlewoman from Ohio 
(Ms. Kaptur) to offer a close here.
  We thank Representative Lipinski for joining us this evening on a 
very important topic. Thank you for your strong voice in this matter.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Lipinski).

                              {time}  1700

  Mr. LIPINSKI. Thank you, Mr. Tonko.
  I will just take a short time here to add my voice in strong support 
of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. It has been 3 months since the 
Bank's charter ended, and American companies and workers are suffering.
  Mr. Tonko, you had mentioned what GE has recently done. We see 
manufacturing jobs being shipped overseas due to the inability of 
corporations and small businesses to access vital guarantees and 
financing. Every major trading nation in the world, other than the U.S. 
right now offers export financing. Without it, our manufacturers and 
workers are at a competitive disadvantage, something we cannot afford.
  In 2014 alone, the Ex-Im Bank financed over $27 billion of exports 
and supported 164,000 jobs in the U.S., all while generating a $675 
million surplus. When we are looking for money, the Ex-Im Bank 
generated a large surplus.
  The Bank is vital to supporting small businesses. Nearly 90 percent 
of Ex-Im Bank transactions directly support small businesses. We need 
small business to succeed in this Nation if this Nation is going to 
succeed. Small businesses create the large majority of the jobs in this 
country. Small businesses need the Ex-Im Bank.
  So it is time to reauthorize the Bank and support American jobs in 
manufacturing. We cannot wait any longer. We need to bring this to the 
floor, get this done, and get more Americans back to work.
  Thank you very much, Mr. Tonko, for your work on this.
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Lipinski) for 
joining us on this very important topic.
  Finally, we will go to the gentlewoman from Ohio, (Ms. Kaptur), who 
is such a strong voice for American jobs, American workers, and hits 
hard at that agenda.
  It is not surprising to see you on the floor to join us in this 
effort. Welcome, Representative Kaptur.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Thank you so much, Congressman Tonko, for bringing us 
together and, as always, helping to be a vanguard for jobs in America 
and the importance of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today 3 months after my Republican colleagues in 
the majority have failed, failed, failed in their responsibility to 
guard our economy by not reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. Since 
2009 alone, the Ex-Im Bank has supported over 1.3 million jobs in our 
country. Yet today, it has been put into idle, in limbo, as Republicans 
let it wither on the vine.
  Reauthorizing the Bank means jobs--let me repeat, jobs--here in 
America. Because when exports increase to other countries, American 
companies hire more workers to meet the added global demand.
  Anyone serving in Congress who doesn't understand how important--
vital--the Export-Import Bank is to jobs in America and to financing 
those exports to other nations shouldn't be serving here. You can't 
live in a cave and hope to compete globally.
  Of special note, the Export-Import Bank pays for itself, contributing 
$675 million alone in 2014 and nearly $7 billion over the last 20 years 
to the U.S. Treasury. It is well-managed and has an extremely low 
default rate. Yet today, at a time when America needs more jobs to keep 
growing, the Republican majority has shifted the country again into 
  More than 50 countries have an Export-Import Bank--I won't go through 
them all, China, Japan, Brazil, and Canada--many of our biggest trading 
partners. In many markets like Mexico, we can't move our products in 
there without the Export-Import Bank.
  Ask Superior Products in Cleveland, Ohio, or A.J. Rose Manufacturing 
in Cleveland. Or how about First Solar in Perrysburg, Ohio; 98 percent 
of its exports are tied to Export-Import Bank financing.
  Republicans have really put us on the brink of losing thousands more 
jobs in our country. Look at General Electric and what it just did. It 
decided because they didn't have Ex-Im Bank financing, they are going 
to move their operations to Britain and hire 1,000 people. Now, how 
backwards is that kind of thinking? It could not be any clearer that 
the shutdown of the Export-Import Bank will cost us so many jobs in 
this country.
  And how demoralizing to people who fight for American jobs and 
American workers every day. What we know here, and we have seen it 
operate last week and this week, an extreme wing of the Republican 
Party has ignored warnings from their colleagues--leading economists, 
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and countless other organizations--as 
they hold hostage the Export-Import Bank, frankly, for reasons no 
rational person can understand. They are even ignoring its charter and 
the immeasurable good it does for this country and the ability of our 
companies to compete in foreign markets which are so difficult--so 
difficult--for them to leap over and to get over the walls, the 
barriers, that prevent our products from going abroad.
  It is our desire that American companies will be able to compete and 
win. We try for it every day. That is why many of us ran for office. 
And to have this kind of wrench thrown in the wheel of progress, of 
economic progress, for our country is something that any rational 
American simply can't understand. It doesn't have to be this way.
  I thank the gentleman so very much for his time.
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the gentlewoman from Ohio for her insight and her 
powerful statement.
  It is very clear, it is very straightforward: support American 
workers; support small business; support exporting of American 
manufactured goods; support industry. Let's grow our economy.
  We are going to close with a very forceful voice, one with great 
passion, the gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. Moore), who also has been 
impacted by this failure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. 
Representative Moore, thank you so much. It is an honor to serve with 
you. Thank you for being here.
  Ms. MOORE. Thank you Representative Tonko. I want to associate myself 
with all the comments from my great colleague, Marcy Kaptur.
  Mr. Speaker, I can tell you, when I was elected to Congress, no one 
could have paid me to believe that we would be on this floor fighting 
the Republican Party to prevent them from basically neutering the 
economic progress of business here. And this is what has happened.
  As the gentlewoman from Ohio just mentioned, GE, very close to my 
district, announced plans to leave our region, 350 jobs and 400 
suppliers that they have notified that they are moving their facility 
plants to Canada. They say that the suppliers generate almost $47 
million in revenue in Wisconsin alone--$47 million in Wisconsin alone. 
But they are leaving, they say, because they desperately cannot make 
the deals work without financing from the Export-Import Bank.
  And many people have said, oh, they wanted to do this anyway and they 
are using it as an excuse, but GE says that this is the main reason, 
that they continue to urge Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank 
because it is a very, very competitive world. And in a slow growth and 
volatile world, they have got to go where the markets are; they have 
got to compete in 170 countries.
  And so I just wanted to express my grief, my condolences, to the 350 
employees, to the entire supply chain, and to recognize that once 
again--once again--policies of this misguided Republican majority are 
going to increase the misery index among the people who live in my 
  Mr. TONKO. I thank the gentlewoman from Wisconsin.
  We have exhausted our time here this afternoon, but I will state 
clearly, we cannot afford to dull the competitive edge of American 
business, American industry. We cannot afford to impact negatively the 
American worker. We should not suffocate the American Dream simply by 
this recalcitrance, this determination to shut down an Export-Import 
Bank that has helped as a tool in the toolkit.

[[Page H6704]]

  Allow us to be strong. Allow us to be competitive, robustly 
competitive. Reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. The damage is already 
beginning to hit home across this great Nation. We must do better. The 
American worker deserves our support. American business and industry 
deserves our support.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.