Senate Democrats

Reid Responds To Republicans On Export Import Bank

Reid: “It Is Obvious That You Regret Your Vote, And I Sincerely Wish That When The Opportunity Had Presented Itself, You Had Voted According to The Dictates Of Your Conscience”

Points Out That A Stand-Alone Reauthorization Would Fail In The House Due To Tea Party Opposition

Looks Forward To Working With Republicans To Finding A Vehicle For Reauthorization That Would Guarantee Passage

Washington, DC – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid replied in a letter to Republican excuses for voting against the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank. Despite claiming to support the Bank’s reauthorization, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led a filibuster last week to prevent the Bank from being reauthorized, and is now calling for the reauthorization to be advanced as a stand-alone that would fail to pass the House of Representatives due to Tea party opposition.

Senator Reid states that while he opposes advancing a stand-alone reauthorization that has no chance of passing the House, he looks forward to working with Republicans to find a vehicle that will ensure reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The letter was delivered to Republicans earlier today, and was written in response to a letter that Republicans wrote to Senator Reid this week.

“I am surprised by your claim of support for the Bank, given that just last week you led a coordinated and successful effort to defeat its reauthorization,” Senator Reid writes. “If you had not opposed reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, led a Republican filibuster and insisted on a 60-vote threshold, it would have already passed the Senate with bipartisan support,” he points out.

In response to Republican requests to bring up the Bank reauthorization as a stand-alone measure, Senator Reid points out that such a move would be guaranteed to fail in the House of Representatives, where Tea Party Republicans staunchly oppose the Bank.

“Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that Members of the House who are ideologically opposed to the Export-Import Bank’s very existence intend to oppose its reauthorization and severely curtail its operations, making the prospect of a stand-alone reauthorization of the Bank passing the House remote,” Reid writes.

“The Bank’s reauthorization did not need to be a fight,” Reid writes. “I look forward to working with you to find another vehicle that would ensure passage of the Export-Import Bank through the House. It is obvious that you regret your vote, and I sincerely wish that when the opportunity had presented itself, you had voted according to the dictates of your conscience.”

The full text of the letter is below and attached as a PDF.

 

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March 30, 2012

Dear Colleague:

Thank you for your letter regarding reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.  The Export-Import Bank is an essential tool for providing American companies with a level playing field in a global economy, creating jobs, and revitalizing America’s manufacturing sector.  I am surprised by your claim of support for the Bank, given that just last week you led a coordinated and successful effort to defeat its reauthorization.

I was also surprised to learn that you believe Senate action on the reauthorization would be brief.  If you had not opposed reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, led a Republican filibuster and insisted on a 60-vote threshold, it would have already passed the Senate with bipartisan support on a vote of 55-44 on Senate amendment 1836.  Moreover, as you undoubtedly know, Republicans have been responsible for an unprecedented number of filibusters, causing delay and postponement to become common place in the Senate.

The Bank’s reauthorization did not need to be a fight.  The provisions in the reauthorization had been approved by the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, and the amendment was cosponsored by Senators Shelby and Graham.  Although it defies belief, even the Republican cosponsors of the reauthorization voted against it.

Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that Members of the House who are ideologically opposed to the Export-Import Bank’s very existence intend to oppose its reauthorization and severely curtail its operations, making the prospect of a stand-alone reauthorization of the Bank passing the House remote.  The Bank creates jobs, provides capital to small businesses, and enjoys bipartisan support, and it was an ideal fit for the bipartisan JOBS Act, which was designed to provide small businesses with greater access to capital.  Attaching the Bank’s reauthorization to the JOBS Act, which had strong bipartisan support in the House, would have provided a vehicle for reauthorization that would have garnered the support necessary to overcome House Republicans’ opposition.

Even if Senate Republicans are in fact ready to reverse their position and support the Bank, as your letter suggests, I foresee no possibility of the reauthorization receiving the necessary support from your colleagues in the House.  I look forward to working with you to find another vehicle that would ensure passage of the Export-Import Bank through the House.

I am sorry to learn that you regret your vote, and I sincerely wish that when the opportunity presented itself, you had voted according to the dictates of your conscience.

 

Sincerely,

HARRY REID

Majority Leader
United States Senate-Nevada

 

 

 

CC:      The Honorable Lindsey Graham

The Honorable Kelly Ayotte

The Honorable Daniel Coats

The Honorable Mike Johanns

The Honorable Saxby Chambliss

The Honorable Rob Portman

The Honorable Jeff Sessions

The Honorable John Boozman

The Honorable Thad Cochran

The Honorable John Hoeven

The Honorable Johnny Isakson

The Honorable Roy Blunt

The Honorable Richard Shelby

The Honorable Lamar Alexander

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski

The Honorable Mark Kirk

The Honorable Pat Roberts

The Honorable Dean Heller

The Honorable Richard Burr

The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison

The Honorable Roger Wicker

The Honorable Scott Brown

The Honorable Richard Lugar

The Honorable James Inhofe

The Honorable Susan Collins

The Honorable John McCain

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