May 15, 2012


WASHINGTON – Today Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) took to the Senate floor to call on his colleagues to vote against amendments and quickly pass bipartisan Export-Import Bank reauthorization legislation.
Below are Chairman Johnson’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. President: I rise today in support of H.R. 2072, the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012. After too much delay, it is time for the Senate to pass this bill.
“The Export-Import Bank supports nearly 290,000 jobs a year, assists thousands of American businesses, and helps reduces the federal budget deficit. It shouldn’t be surprising then, to hear that the Bank has the approval of labor unions, the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the National Association of Manufacturers.  Indeed, the Bank is supported by wide majorities in both houses of Congress. The bill before us today passed with an overwhelming vote of 330-93 in the House of Representatives last week, as Republicans and Democrats came together in support of truly bipartisan legislation. When we passed a similar bill out of the Senate Banking Committee last year, it had unanimous bipartisan support.
“Mr. President, despite the urgent need for passage of the bill, there are several Republican amendments.  I urge all of my colleagues to vote against those amendments and pass the bill without delay. We are at the finish line today, with a bill that has already been approved in the House, and that has bipartisan support here in the Senate.
“Unless we pass this bill, the Ex-Im Bank’s authorization will lapse on May 31 and nearly 300,000 American jobs will be at risk. Unless we pass this bill, American exporters will be put at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors, who in many cases already receive far greater assistance from their own nations’ export credit agencies.
“Let’s come together and pass this bipartisan bill, and score a victory for the hundreds of thousands of American workers whose jobs are supported by the Export-Import Bank.
“I urge my colleagues to oppose the amendments and support the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank today, so we can send this bill to the President and have it signed into law without delay. I yield the floor.”