(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Senate voted 78-20 late Tuesday to approve the charter of the Export-Import Bank and raise its lending cap from USD 100 billion to USD 140 billion, drawing praise from the White House.
The vote to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank, the government's vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales, sends the measure to President Barack Obama's desk for final signature.
Obama praised the vote calling it an "important step that will help American businesses create jobs here at home and sell their products around the world." "Congress should continue to do the right thing by acting on proposals we know will grow our economy and create jobs. In the meantime, I look forward to signing this bill into law," Obama added.
The bank, which takes no money from taxpayers, last year provided export-financing support for about 2 percent of U.S. exports, about USD 32 billion in loans, loan guarantees and credit financing. Some USD11 billion of that supported Boeing sales of large commercial aircrafts.
The Export-Import Bank is generally considered a non-controversial bill, came under attack this year from conservatives who argued it was a form of corporate welfare that distorted free trade and urged Republicans to oppose the reauthorizing the bank's charter.