"To my colleagues in the House, I think I’m a pretty conservative guy but I also think I’m pretty practical. Why in the world would we shut down our bank while China is expanding theirs," Graham said Tuesday. "That's not conservatism, that's crazy."
Klobuchar said a Joint Economic Committee report released Tuesday showed that the Export-Import Bank contributes to U.S. economic growth.
“Exports are critical to our economy,” Klobuchar said. “That’s why I support strongly reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.”
Congress must reauthorize the Export-Import Bank by Sept. 30, or else it will shut down.
“Why is this taking so long,” Senate Small Business Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said. “We have 21 days left to get this right.”
Republicans are divided over reauthorizing the bank, which provides financing for projects designed to increase U.S. exports. Some conservatives argue the bank is a form of corporate welfare, but Democrats say the program is needed to keep the United States economically competitive with countries that heavily subsidize industries.
“How can we say to our U.S. companies big and small that we’re going to allow 60 other countries … have credit export programs but our companies cannot have them in the U.S.,” Klobuchar said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said the Senate will vote to reauthorize the bank before leaving in two weeks for midterm election campaigning. But the House still doesn’t have plans to take up any reauthorization bill.