–He met with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on Wednesday and has had “ongoing conversations” with House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) about their concerns with Ex-Im, but not House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Both McCarthy and Hensarling have been vocal opponents of reauthorization. “I’m looking for a solution, to forge common ground where we can,” he said.
–He views as vital trade promotion authority (TPA), and the trade deals with Asia (TPP) and Europe (TTIP) it would accelerate. “What Ex-Im does is close the deals. We need trade agreements to open the doors and Ex-Im to close the deals,” he said.
–He says he’s open to reform ideas from lawmakers. “Any members who’d like to propose reforms, I’m happy to sit down with,” he said.
–He says has not coordinated with the trade groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers that are lobbying hard for reauthorization, but that he’s known former Rep. Dick Gephardt — who’s lobbying on behalf of NAM — for many years. “I’ve known Gephardt for a long time, we had one coffee or breakfast once in the last 12 months,” he said. “I’ve got my job to do. They’ve been retained by a coalition of business and trade associations, the Chamber, NAM and others. They’re really working independently.”