Every Democrat in Congress, except one in the U.S. Senate, fought against Republican attempts to kill the Export-Import Bank. The holdout who joined Republican efforts to shut down the bank was Sen. Bernie Sanders.
THE Export-Import Bank of the United States is critical to the type of jobs and industries that have made our state strong. Through its support, businesses across Washington have been able to take their products to the rest of the world.
From our incredible apples to our award-winning wine and beer to our game-changing software, technology and airplanes, nearly 85,000 Washington families’ paychecks have depended on the success of the Ex-Im Bank. It assists hundreds of businesses in our state with 90 percent of the bank’s transactions directly supporting small businesses. It creates and supports the types of jobs vital to our state’s economy.
Manhasset Specialty Company, based in Yakima, is a perfect example of those types of jobs. Manhasset is not the type of company one would expect to benefit from the Ex-Im Bank. Yet as the maker of some of the world’s most premier music stands, their products are used by musicians around the globe and can be found on the stages of the best orchestras and performers. This employee-owned business spurs growth, supports families and is important to their community. It is through the bank’s ability to provide loans and loan guarantees that it can compete globally.
When the bank came up for reauthorization last year, every Democrat in Congress from Washington state as well as every Democrat but one in the U.S. Senate fought against Republican attempts to kill the program. The lone holdout who joined Republican efforts to shut down the bank was U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
In doing so, he jeopardized our workers, manufacturers and small businesses. At the same time, President Obama and progressive leaders like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., stood up for this program — a program that has helped reduce the federal deficit and generated nearly $7 billion more than the cost of its operations.
By siding with those attempting to cripple the Ex-Im Bank, Sanders has cost Washington businesses and workers. They have lost opportunities, have had to manage uncertainty in production and have risked potential jobs. On the campaign trail, he talks about helping the American workforce. Yet in the last two debates, he has doubled down on his efforts to kill the Ex-Im Bank, which would devastate Washington state’s economy, workers and families. Without the bank, thousands of jobs would be gone.
The people and businesses that power our economy have relied on the Ex-Im Bank, a program originally started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of the New Deal more than 80 years ago. Washingtonians know it’s a win-win-win for taxpayers, businesses and workers here in our state. Yet when given the chance to stand on the side of manufacturing jobs, Sanders has stood in the way.
It is critical that our next president understands — like President Obama has — the importance that the bank has played in our region. Hillary Clinton gets that importance and she supports this vital lifeline for our small businesses and manufacturers. I know she would stand with our state and the thousands of workers who depend on the bank’s success — a success that has supported more than a million private-sector jobs across the country in recent years without costing taxpayers a dime.
More important, she would go beyond the bank and has laid out policies to support high-paying, high-skilled manufacturing jobs of the future by bolstering innovation, investing in renewable energy and rebuilding America’s infrastructure. These are the major investments that would drive demand for manufacturing across the country.
I’m disappointed at the Republican efforts — with the support of Sanders — to deny Washingtonians this important resource. I’ve seen firsthand the families and businesses that rely on this program. I stand with Clinton as she serves to keep the bank and focuses on creating the well-paying jobs that could drive our economy.