Senate votes against increasing Ex-Im Bank’s cap

Victoria
By Victoria March 21, 2012 15:34

Senate votes against increasing Ex-Im Bank’s cap

The US Senate has voted 55-44 against reauthorizing Ex-Im Bank’s charter and increasing its lending cap.
The bank’s temporary charter expires on May 31 and requires congressional approval for the bank to stay in business. Although Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell supports the renewal of the bank’s charter, he has urged Republicans to oppose Democratic efforts to add Ex-Im Bank renewal to a bill passed by the House of Representatives to help small businesses raise capital. He believes the charter has a better chance of being approved if Congress is allowed to vote on the issue alone.

House Republican leaders have proposed an alternative bill that would renew the bank’s charter until June 1, 2013, and raise the credit ceiling to $113 billion. The Senate bill requested a cap increase to $140 billion.

The two chambers can still reach a deal before the end of March before they leave for a two-week recess. If they do not, Ex-Im Bank has warned it will have to stop issuing new loans or credit guarantees in coming weeks because they are already bumping up against the $100 billion credit ceiling.

Speaking at the ISTAT Americas 2012 conference in Arizona, yesterday Ex-Im Bank VP, transportation Robert Morin said there were $89 billion of loans and guarantees outstanding at the end of the agency’s fiscal year in September 2011 and that the agency would soon reach its cap.

Victoria
By Victoria March 21, 2012 15:34
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