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U.S. Export Bank, Expiring June 30, May Be Revived In Senate Vote

The supporters of the U.S. Export-Import Bank have enough votes in the Senate to revive it and will get a chance to do so, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said June 29.

"Looks to me like they have the votes, and I'm going to give them the opportunity," said McConnell in a telephone interview with the Associated Press from Kentucky, where he is spending Congress' week-long Independence Day recess.

He said he expects supporters to try to attach legislation reauthorizating the bank to a highway spending bill.

The 81-year-old bank will expire at midnight June 30. It was created during the Great Depression to make and guarantee loans to help overseas buyers purchase U.S. products.

The bank has financed many big-ticket purchases for jet planes, farm tractors, earthmovers, oil platforms and other equipment in the Eurasian region from American companies like Boeing and Caterpillar.

But the bank has fallen victim to a campaign by conservative Republicans, who accuse it of fostering "crony capitalism" and "corporate welfare."

Based on reporting by AP and AFP