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House Democrats Vote to Prop Up Chinese Communist Party with Taxpayer-Backed Financing

Washington, November 15, 2019 -

Today, Republicans and Democrats made clear that there is bipartisan opposition to H.R. 4863, the “U.S. Export Finance Agency Act.” The bill, introduced by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), stripped all Republican provisions from a previously bipartisan compromise between the Chairwoman and Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10). Most importantly, these provisions would have limited the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank’s taxpayer-backed subsidies to businesses owned by the Chinese Communist Party that are acting contrary to our national interest.

Instead of taking meaningful action to combat the generational threat of China, Democrats’ partisan bill also weakened support for small businesses by delaying a rise in Ex-Im’s small business mandate, removed tough debarment penalties to address fraud and corruption at Ex-Im, and gutted reforms requiring Ex-Im to prove heavy users of the Bank need Ex-Im as a lender of last resort as well as prove that financing for those users does not help foreign entities at the expense of U.S. jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear this bill will not be considered in the Senate and the President issued a veto threat. There is a path to a bipartisan, long term reauthorization of the Bank—Democrats just need to say yes. Republicans filed a discharge petition on November 14th to ensure the Bank remains fully operational and can continue to strengthen the competitiveness of the U.S.

Watch highlights from the floor debate on this partisan bill here or by clicking on the image above.

Ranking Member McHenry on Democrats’ unnecessary partisanship: “The bill we’re debating today encapsulates so much of what is wrong in Congress today. This is a partisan bill to reauthorize what a bipartisan group support and it’s a failure of legislating. That’s why we have a partisan bill on the House Floor to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.”

McHenry on Democrats’ unwillingness to combat the generational threat of China: “Earlier this year, Chairwoman Waters and I joined together to introduce a bipartisan Ex-Im reauthorization bill, H.R. 3407. It included sensible reforms for Ex-Im that both parties could support. …in that bill we took on the generational challenge that is incumbent upon us as American policy makers to be sensible to, which is the threat and aggression of China. Both the economic and military aggressiveness of that regime. The bill that we negotiated would have served as the most comprehensive and the longest extension in authorization of the Ex-Im Bank, and it had a chance to get the President’s signature and actually be legislated in the Senate. Sadly, the Democrats walked away from that agreement because it limited Ex-Im subsidies to some businesses owned by the Chinese Communist Party. The Democrat Majority stripped out all the reforms we’d agreed to.”

McHenry on combatting Chinese aggression through the Ex-Im Bank: “As we all know, Beijing poses a strategic threat to our national interest through its economic and military aggression. We know about the Chinese government’s shocking abuse of human rights, we see this in Hong Kong in the suppression of freedom there. We know the Chinese government’s true motives for the Belt & Road Initiative and the Made in China 2025 Initiative, and that’s to extend China’s global dominance. They’re not a strategic ally, they’re a threat. And if we are savvy to this, we’ll ensure that we don’t take an important tool of our government and subsidize Beijing. If we want to counter Beijing’s ambitions, we shouldn’t use Ex-Im to provide cheap financing for the Chinese Communist Party.”

McHenry on Democrats’ weak attempt to address China through the restatement of current practices: “The Democrats put in this bill meaningless language for political cover rather than to do something right and real for the U.S. economy. … The Democrat bill would do nothing to stop Ex-Im from financing government-controlled companies that are acting contrary to our national interest, but which may not happen to be on this entity list at the Commerce Department. Take Huawei, for example, which Ex-Im had authorized transactions for before the company was put on the entity list in May. Under the Democrats’ bill, Ex-Im subsidies for Huawei were perfectly fine in April, but in May were unacceptable, that’s ridiculous and it’s bad policy for the American taxpayer to subsidize Chinese aggression.”

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