Senate votes to revive Export-Import bank

Washington – The U.S. Senate late Monday voted to revive the embattled Export-Import Bank, a government corporation that helps exporters in Connecticut by financing and insuring foreign purchases of their goods.

Opposed by many Republicans as “corporate welfare” because it helps giant companies like Boeing sell its jets overseas, the bank’s charter expired on June 30. But senators voted 64-29 to add an amendment renewing the bank’s charter to a massive highway bill under debate in the Senate.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who are strong advocates of the bank, voted with the majority.

Last week Murphy released a report that said 27 Connecticut aviation and aerospace companies use the Ex-Im Bank to sell their products overseas. The report also said that from 2007-2005, the Ex-Im bank has supplied Connecticut’s “aerospace corridor” with more than $1.1 billion in insured shipments, guaranteed credit and loans, generating more than $1.7 billion in exports.

That’s nearly half of the $4 billion the bank has generated for all Connecticut industries combined, Murphy’s report said.

“Connecticut’s aerospace manufacturing economy cannot afford any further delay by Congress on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.  There are thousands of jobs at stake in Connecticut, and it’s time for the Republican war on the bank to end,” the senator said.

Renewal of the bank’s charter faces strong resistance from conservative Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, however, and that could make it tougher for the House and Senate to agree on a final highway bill.

Unless Congress reauthorizes the highway bill by Friday, federal money will stop flowing to the states.

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