1:59 PM EDT
Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th

Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I want to say to the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson) that I sympathize with his statement. He makes his case with passion and knowledge. I want to clarify my intent with respect to the language in the committee report referring to applications from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

The report language urged the Export-Import Bank to act promptly on requests for assistance. It also asked for the bank to report on the status of pending applications.

The report further noted the committee's request for ``an explanation for any rejection of any requests for assistance, specifically applications affecting the semiconductor industry.'' This sentence could be misconstrued as prejudicing or prejudging possible applications for bank assistance.

Let me be clear. It was not and is not my intention to prejudice or prejudge the outcome of any pending application at the bank. This language is not intended to influence in any way any matter that is pending before the bank or reflect negatively on any decision made by the chairman or any other board member regarding any pending or past matter.

Loans brought before the bank must meet the bank's criteria for export additionality, foreign competition, and net benefit for the American economy. The Export-Import Bank has five full-time board members whose job it is to assess whether applications meet the bank's criteria for export additionality, foreign competition, and net benefit to the U.S. economy.

They are the ones who should make the judgments about which transactions the bank will support and those it would turn down. The committee report language in no way is intended to influence those judgments. I understand the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson) still has some concerns with the language, and I will be happy to work with the gentleman and the Senate in conference regarding the committee's intent.