September 15, 2014
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Congress mulls short-term extension of Export-Import Bank

House Speaker John Boehner said last week that the Export-Import Bank's soon-to-expire charter could be extended until next June. Congress is likely to take up the measure this week, although President Obama's request for funding to fight extremists in Syria has complicated negotiations.

While an extension until next summer sounds good, it might actually be a clever way to kill the bank, CNBC writes: "The House strategy is clearly to separate Ex-Im from the herd of other must-pass legislation and then quietly execute it next year when fewer people are watching and no legislative horse-trading is needed."

In a front-page story today, The Seattle Times explains why Washington businesses of all sizes and types, from winemaker Ste. Michelle Wine Estates to high-tech manikin maker Measurement Technology Northwest, can't risk selling to overseas buyers without the expertise and protection of Ex-Im Bank financing. “It’s a lot more intimidating for foreign customers to not pay the U.S. Export-Import Bank than it is for them to not pay us,” said Tim O’Neill, president and founder of Measurement Technology.

Sen Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., spoke from the floor of the U.S. Senate last week and called a short-term extension "ridiculous," since it would not give exporters the certainty they need to ink cross-border deadls. The only workable solution for business is a long-term (five-year) extension of the bank, Cantwell said. Olympia Business Watch has video and a summary of her remarks.

A newly released report from the Joint Economic Committee, "The Contribution of Exports to Economic Growth and the Important Role of the Export-Import Bank," explains why this 80-year-old institution is vital to the health of America's economy.

The Seattle Times editorialized last week that Congress should get over its gutlessness and quickly give the Ex-Im Bank a long-term extension: "... months of uncertainty would give an advantage to foreign companies backed by similar export credit institutions. Already American firms are finding it hard to compete because financing may evaporate shortly," The Times wrote.

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Former Dick's Drive-In worker, then and now

By Melanie Wood, former Dick's crew member who went on to work at Verizon Wireless, Hewlett-Packard, Micro K12 and Microsoft

I have always admired Dick's Drive-In for strong involvement with the United Way, the scholarship program, celebrating with high school and college grads, and all that is achieved in the community.

High standards of integrity and strong work-ethic were my greatest takeaways from my time with the Drive-In, but it was also my first exposure to being part of team, as well as seeing what happens when an organization keeps focus on these community objectives.

Click to read her store on the Dick's Drive-In Facebook page
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