Export-Import Bank reauthorization passes Senate, to Obama next

A number of Washington Congressional representatives spent a good bit of time Tuesday pushing forward the Senate bill that reauthorized the Export-Import Bank. The final vote of 78-20 was a victory for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who's been a major proponent of the bill.

If not passed, the the Ex-Im authorization would have expired on May 31.

The bill also increased the bank's financing authority to $140 billion by 2014.

Cantwell, who is running for another four-year term, toured Eastern Washington last month and spent time speaking about the value of the bank, which underwrites loans by U.S. companies on exports to foreign customers.

We covered that visit with this report.

In the Senate vote, Idaho's two Republican senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo voted against.

The next step is having the bill signed by President Obama.

The Senate vote followed last week's passage in the House of HR 2072, the formal reauthorization bill.

The House vote was a whopping 330 in favor, 93 opposed. Only one Northwest House member voted “nay” on the reauthorization.

And that was Idaho's Rep. Raul Labrador.  Every other Northwest Republican voted in favor.