WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – today urged his Republican colleagues to restore the full authority of the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s board of directors. Today, Patricia M. Loui-Schmicker, a Democrat who was nominated in March of 2015, withdrew her nomination to a second term on the Ex-Im board. President Obama nominated Mark McWatters, a Republican, to another seat on the bank’s board. With three empty seats on its five-member board, Ex-Im lacks a quorum, which means the bank cannot approve any transaction over $10 million.
“The Export-Import Bank helps businesses of all sizes grow, compete, and create jobs, and it must have a quorum to approve deals over $10 million. Every week Congress delays action on the President's nominees puts American jobs at risk,” Brown said. “Ms. Loui-Schmicker is well-qualified, having served with distinction as a member of the board during an unprecedented time, and should have been confirmed months ago. It is outrageous that the Senate Banking Committee has failed for an entire year to vote on any of the President’s nominees, including Ms. Loui-Schmicker. It is well past time to fulfill this basic duty.”
Since 2007, the Ex-Im Bank has provided direct financial assistance to more than 350 Ohio businesses – including 226 small businesses – to support $3 billion of exports. Brown released a county-by-county report in June detailing Ohio businesses that have relied on Ex-Im Bank funding over that period. In 2014 alone, the bank supported more than $250 million in Ohio exports – more than 60 percent of which were transactions done by small businesses.