Cantwell ‘frustrated’ by lack of Ex-Im Bank support

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Wednesday that colleagues who don’t see the economic benefits of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank frustrate her.

“We have people here in the United States Congress who don’t have the good sense to know how valuable this is,” Cantwell said on the Senate floor.

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The Export-Import Bank funding expires on Sept. 30 and the agency would no longer be able to make loans to support U.S. manufacturers’ sales of pricey items, such as airplanes, if Congress doesn’t act before then.

“We have 73 days left until that program expires,” Cantwell said. “Some of my colleagues not only want to threaten not to reauthorize this program, they want to kill it.”

Cantwell argued that the Bank supports more than 1 million jobs across the United States and generates more than $180 billion in export sales.

Leading opponents denounce the Bank as “corporate welfare.”

It’s unclear if a majority of House Republicans will support the reauthorization of the Bank.

Earlier this week, Cantwell and other Washington state lawmakers called on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to hold a vote to extend the Bank’s operations because it’s a matter of global competitiveness for U.S. companies.