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Environment

Lawmakers Offer Plan For Ex-Im Bank

by Glenn Hess
October 20, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 42

Two senior members of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee have drafted a compromise bill that would keep the endangered Export-Import Bank open for another five years. Reauthorizing the federal export credit agency is a priority for chemical manufacturers and other export-heavy businesses (C&EN, Oct. 6, 2014, page 30). “This legislation contains a responsible set of reforms that we believe will strengthen the bank, and it lays the groundwork for a bipartisan agreement that extends the bank’s charter over the long-term,” says Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). The proposal, which Waters developed with Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-Calif.), would reauthorize Ex-Im Bank until Sept. 30, 2019. It would also reduce taxpayer risk, such as by expanding the bank’s reserve fund. Tea Party-backed Republicans wanted to let the bank’s charter expire last month, arguing that the agency engages in crony capitalism by favoring large, politically connected companies over small businesses. Instead, Congress opted for a short-term extension through June 30, 2015, setting up another legislative fight for the spring.

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