House extends Export Import Bank's charter

May 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. House voted to extend the Export Import Bank's charter for two more years in a bipartisan vote that collected 147 yes votes from Republicans.

Ninety-three Republicans said no to the measure that would also raise the Export Import Bank's loan exposure cap from $100 billion to $140 billion, Politico reported Wednesday.

Democrats voted for the bill unanimously, making the total 330 for and 93 against.

The strong support makes it all the more likely the Democrat-controlled Senate will pass a version of the bill, as well, the Politico said.

The vote, as it is, came in just under the wire. Without an extension, the bank's charger expires May 31.

"This is how we're going to rebuild the economy," said Export Import Bank President Fred Hochberg.

"This is a jobs bill -- a jobs bill for Americans," said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

In a concession to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., the bill includes a requirement that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner initiate a dialogue with trading partners aimed at "substantially reducing" export financing subsidies.

"Make no mistake I am no fan of government subsidies. Export subsidies distort the free market and global trade. And in a perfect world the Ex-Im Bank and its counterparts in Europe and Asia and elsewhere would not exist," Cantor said.

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