By Vicki Needham - 05/07/14 02:20 PM EDT
A bipartisan duo on the Senate Banking Committee urged panel leaders on Wednesday to take up a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPennsylvania Senate rivals use Trump, Clinton as ammunition Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment Coal Country’s top lawyer takes on Obama’s EPA MORE (D-W.Va.) and Mark KirkMark KirkElizabeth Warren stumps, raises funds for Duckworth GOP blocks slate of Obama judicial nominees Durbin: McConnell should move criminal justice bill next month MORE (R-Ill.) sent a letter to panel Chairman Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonOn Wall Street, Dem shake-up puts party at crossroads Regulators fret over FOIA reform bill Senators push back against using guarantee fees to offset spending MORE (D-N.D.) and ranking member Mike CrapoMike CrapoBipartisan effort seeks end to budget gimmicks Republicans mum on possibility of Trump filling Supreme Court seat Senate approves first amendments to energy bill MORE (R-Idaho) asking them to schedule a vote on legislation to provide another round of funding, which is set to run out Sept. 30.
"Considering a majority of senators support the Ex-Im Bank and its reauthorization is imperative, we see no reason to delay this vote," they wrote.
“After all, if we do not reauthorize the Bank, the U.S. stands to lose over 1 million jobs and billions of dollars in exports."
The issue is likely next up on the panel’s agenda after they consider legislation to overhaul the housing finance system, which is expected to continue next week.
At the end of April, the White House sent legislation to Capitol Hill that would extend the Bank’s authority for five years and increase the lending cap by $5 billion each fiscal year from 2015 through 2018, with an exposure limit capped at $160 billion.
The 80-year-old Bank, headed by Fred Hochberg, went through a tough reauthorization fight two years ago but managed to land broad support in the House and Senate.
In the letter, the senators argue that last year the Ex-Im Bank financed a record 3,413 small businesses, which is almost 90 percent of the all transactions.
"Constituents in our home states of West Virginia and Illinois have told us that, without Ex-Im Bank services, their small businesses would have no opportunity to participate in lucrative export markets,” they said.
The fight for funding is looking more difficult this time around with conservative groups rallying against Ex-Im's charter and some House Republicans saying they won't support a reauthorization.
House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanFormer GOP senator: I’d back Trump but not Cruz as nominee House GOP reignites push for budget plan GOP chairman: Our ObamaCare alternative coming before July MORE (R-Wis.) rank among the bank’s opponents.
Still, the Bank has plenty of powerful supporters — U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers — that argue that the Bank helps provides many small-sized U.S. businesses the best way to get their products into foreign markets.