Washington, DC - Following yesterday's action to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet welcomed Congress's action to renew the bank's charter through 2019. The Ex-Im Bank is an economic engine that has helped Colorado businesses finance the export of domestically-made products to international markets for more than 80 years. The measure was included in the five-year highway and transit funding bill that passed through both houses of Congress yesterday.
"Today's victory is long overdue. For the past five months, Congress denied Colorado businesses the support and expertise they needed to help them compete globally and prosper locally," Bennet said. "While today's outcome is positive, we still need to address the dysfunction and partisanship in Washington that is impeding progress. As we work to boost our economic competitiveness, we need more people to recognize that ‘bipartisanship' is a good word, not a bad word."
Though the reauthorization is an important step, the bank will not be able to approve transactions valued at more than $10 million due to vacancies on the board of directors. Currently only two of the five director positions are filled, and at least three board members are required in order to approve large loans. President Obama has nominated a third board member, but the Senate has yet to schedule a confirmation hearing to consider the nomination.
Bennet has led the fight to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. In May, Bennet led a group of Colorado businesses in calling on Congressional leadership to extend the charter prior to its expiration. More than 100 Colorado businesses have used the Bank to facilitate the sale of their products overseas, generating exports of $815 million since 2007.
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