Despite a fierce campaign by anti-government extremists, the U.S. Senate this week passed legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank through 2014. The Senate vote follows approval in the House of Representatives for the same bill, which now goes to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
The Senate vote caps a months-long dispute over reauthorization of the bank, which has previously enjoyed broad and bipartisan support. This year, however, the bank became a target for the anti-tax zealots at Grover Norquist’s Club for Growth, which claimed the bank had no business supporting U.S. jobs or U.S. companies.
Right-wing conservatives joined the fray, determined to block any initiative that could conceivably reflect positively on the Obama White House.
Created by President Franklin Roosevelt to support U.S. exports, the bank provides loan guarantees to foreign corporations seeking to import U.S.-made goods and services. In 2011, financing from the Export-Import Bank helped 3,600 private companies support thousands of jobs across the U.S.