1:21pm

Sun May 20, 2012
Politics

In Show of Bipartisanship, Congress Votes to Reauthorize Export-Import Bank

The U-S Senate this week voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, after rejecting efforts to weaken or abolish the institution’s power. The little-known federal agency has helped a number of Colorado companies boost export sales.

Renewing the institution’s charter is normally a routine matter. But this year it got caught up in a fight between business groups that say Ex-Im financing is critical for export sales, and anti-big-government groups that say the bank distorts markets. The charter would have run out May 31st, says a report in Bloomberg News.

Earlier this week Democratic Senator Mark Udall spoke out against a Republican amendment that would have severely limited exports of renewable-energy products such as wind turbines.

Senators voted 78-20 to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank’s charter for three years, and to increase its lending cap by $40 billion. Udall says the legislation will help boost job creation.

"Colorado businesses, whether big or small, compete globally and the bank has empowered many to sell their goods in new markets abroad and hire at home in Colorado.  This is an important way to level the playing field so that American manufacturers have access to tools that help them successfully compete against global competitors."

Ex-Im financing has helped a number of Colorado companies including Abound Solar in Loveland, Southwest Windpower in Broomfield and Golden Aluminum in Fort Lupton. Last year the bank supported $157 million in global sales from Colorado businesses.

The House passed the measure earlier this month. The bipartisan bill now heads to President Obama – who has praised the Ex-Im bank for its role in creating jobs.

Learn more via the bank's Wikipedia page.