Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Senate makes SCOTUS nominee Barrett a proxy for divisive 2020 Senate Republicans scramble to put Trump at arm's length MORE (R-Ill.) and Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg stressed the importance the bank has for small businesses.

Congress must reauthorize the Export-Import Bank by Sept. 30 or else it will shut down.

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Hochberg visited Kirk in Illinois on Tuesday.

“With no cost to the taxpayer, the Export-Import Bank has supported 244 Illinois businesses since 2007 and returned more than $1 billion to the Treasury [Department] in 2013,” Kirk said. “I thank Chairman Hochberg for visiting with Illinois businesses today and look forward to a swift reauthorization this fall.”

Republicans are divided over reauthorizing the bank, which provides financing for projects designed to increase U.S. exports, should be renewed. Some conservatives argue the bank is a form of corporate welfare, but Democrats said the program is needed to keep the United States economically competitive with countries that heavily subsidize industries.

When lawmakers return from the August recess, the Senate is expected to vote on a five-year extension, but the House hasn’t made plans to act.