May 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate revived the Export-Import Bank to full strength Wednesday by confirming three new members, giving it the membership it needs to approve some $40 million in deals that languished for four years.
The Export-Import Bank gives out loans, guarantees and other financing to encourage foreign purchases of U.S. goods. Some business groups and the White House lobbied for the bank's return to full strength, considering it a critical tool for connecting with foreign markets.
Conservative split on the bank spans 15 years, with Koch Industries, a strong Republican donor, complaining that companies like Boeing, GE and Caterpillar and other large industries received 97 percent of its financing in 2013. The Trump administration had been equally split on the bank -- with U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer and adviser Peter Navarro arguing for it, while acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney opposed it.