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Democrats say thousands of jobs in the region are at risk if lawmakers don't renew the authorization for a little-known government entity called the Export Import Bank.
The Export Import Bank helps support U.S. businesses who sell goods abroad. Since 2010, it helped support about $1 billion in exports from both Maryland and Virginia companies, and nearly $60 million in exports from D.C. firms. There are growing calls from the conservative wing of the Republican Party to let the bank expire at the end of September because many lawmakers say it amounts to corporate welfare.
But Maryland Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer says that would punish local companies."We think if we did not and do not reauthorize the Export Import Bank, in effect we're going to unilaterally disarm and hurt our ability to export goods," Hoyer said.
Forty-one moderate Republicans have asked for House Speaker John Boehner to bring the measure up for a vote. Not a single Republican from this region signed the letter.
Hoyer says the votes are there if only lawmakers are given a chance to vote on the measure. "Every Democrat is prepared to vote for it and that would mean it would have at least 230-plus votes and would pass," he said.
The bank's authorization is set to lapse on Sept. 30.