By a 313-118 vote, the U.S. House advanced a bipartisan measure Tuesday to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which expired on July 1.
The credit agency facilitates the export of U.S. goods and services.
The House-passed measure now moves to the U.S. Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell favors tying the Export-Import Bank's renewal to passage of a highway funding bill.
It is anticipated that the House will approve its version of a highway measure next week, according to Politico. Lawmakers from the two chambers could then go into conference over a highway bill, with the final version possibly containing the Export-Import Bank's reauthorization.
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) was among the House members from Illinois who voted in support of renewing the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
"Helping our employers grow and create jobs and opportunity isn't a partisan issue, and we should be doing everything in our power to rebuild our nation's manufacturing base and support Illinois workers," Duckworth said. "That's why I voted to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, which has supported more than 40 businesses--like Elk Grove's BLS Enterprises--and over 1,700 jobs in the 8th District in recent years without costing taxpayers a dime."
Duckworth's office provided some background on the export credit agency:
The 'Ex-Im' Bank supported $27.4 billion in U.S. exports and 164,000 jobs in 2014 at no cost to taxpayers, but has been unable to provide new financing, credit or insurance to employers since July. Roughly 90% of the Ex-Im Bank's transactions directly supported small businesses seeking to sell their products overseas.
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL,17) also applauded the legislation's passage in the House.
"For months, I've been calling on Congress to reauthorize the job-creating Export-Import Bank because it has supported hundreds of jobs in our community," she said Tuesday. "Today I was pleased to help cut through the red tape that is holding back too many of our local manufacturers so they can continue growing our local economy and creating jobs in Illinois. I'm proud to have been a part of the bipartisan coalition that came together to fight for working families today.
Another Illinois supporter of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11).
"I am pleased that reason and bipartisanship prevailed and we were finally able to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Today we saw a bipartisan majority come together to bring up this important legislation over the objections of House Republican Leadership with a seldom used procedure," the congressman said Tuesday after voting in favor of the legislation. "The Export-Import Bank has supported more than a million jobs and has grown our economy without costing taxpayers a dime. This is exactly the kind of job-creating, deficit-reducing program we need to support U.S. businesses and grow our economy."