June 10, 2019
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Calls emerge for Ex-Im Bank's reauthorization to be extended to 10 years

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing last week on reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which faces a September deadline for its charter to be renewed.

Supporters of the bank urged Congress to re-authorize the bank, which supports manufacturers who sell overseas, for 10 years. Previous authorizations for the nearly eight-decade-old bank have been for three to five years.

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck gave an impassioned speech during the hearing, noting that in just the last two years, the Chinese equivalent of the Ex-Im Bank has supported more exports than the Ex-Im Bank in its entire 75-plus-year history.

"Stop saying this is taxpayer subsidy," Heck said to critics of the bank. "It isn't. It hasn't been for decades. This is a job-generating, revenue-creating entity. It creates jobs, it transfers revenue in the billions of dollars to the Treasury. It is not taxpayer subsidized. Stop saying that. It's not true. This helps America's economy. This helps us be strong. This helps us compete with China and other competitors."

Congress last re-authorized the bank in 2015, five months after letting its charter lapse. However, Congress didn't approve until last month the minimum number of board members required to constitute a quorum. Without a quorum, the bank was limited in its ability to support larger export sales.

In 2017, China provided $36 billion in export credit. America provided just $200 million.

The Ex-Im Bank's current re-authorization will expire Sept. 30 without congressional action.

Space News has more on last week's hearing.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell wrote an op-ed in Sunday's Spokesman-Review, saying renewal of the Ex-Im Bank is vital to America's success: "Washingtonians know that competing in a 21st century economy requires an aggressive export strategy. Washingtonians know the Export-Import Bank is a vital tool in that toolbox."

To learn more, contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for federal issues.

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A way forward on immigration

By Edmund O. Schweitzer III and Jay Timmons

Manufacturers are in the business of building solutions. When we see a need to be filled or a problem to be solved, manufacturers go to work innovating and making the products that improve our daily lives. But we don't stop there. When we see our nation facing a challenge, we don't just call on our legislators to fix it; we also provide solutions.

That's exactly what manufacturers have done to help fix our nation's broken immigration system. Earlier this year, the National Association of Manufacturers released "A Way Forward," a plan for comprehensive immigration reform that bolsters border security while strengthening the economy and providing certainty for those immigrants who are anxious about their future...

Legislation soon up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and similar bills recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would provide a solution for these two populations, and manufacturers are calling on Congress to act swiftly. While this is not a comprehensive solution, these bills are a way to move our nation one step closer to a more functional immigration system, and for that reason, they should command strong, bipartisan support. It is simply the right thing to do...

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review
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State budget growth puts Washington in tight spot during next downturn

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State government will spend more than $52.8 billion over the next two years. This is an increase of about 18.3 percent over the previous two-year budget and one of the biggest increases in the last 25 years.

It's true there are many competing demands for resources, but lawmakers had $5.6 billion more to work with, before raising taxes. Rather than look for cost savings, they chose to raise more than $1 billion in new taxes.

It's a safe bet that most Washington families and small businesses did not increase their spending by 18.3 percent this year. This pace of expansion is unsustainable. When the tax collections drop, that usually means painful budget cuts and more tax increases.

Lawmakers made progress on important issues this year, but it came at a high cost. As they work through the interim and prepare for the next budget, our hope is that lawmakers will tap the brakes and slow the growth in state spending.

Washington has enjoyed years of strong economic growth, but we need to be prepared for the next downturn.

Read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
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