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Bank’s Charter Lapsed in June; Kirk-Heitkamp Legislation Heads to President’s Desk 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) celebrated the passage of his bipartisan Export-Import Bank legislation, which reauthorizes the Bank’s charter until September 30, 2019, increases small business lending, supports American jobs and minimizes risk to taxpayers by enhancing bank oversight. Since the Bank’s charter expired in June, Senator Kirk has worked tirelessly with his colleagues in the Senate and House to pass his reauthorization legislation. The Senator’s bipartisan bill, which he introduced with Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), was included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

More than 244 Illinois small businesses rely on the Ex-Im Bank, and more than 200,000 American jobs are supported through the Bank.

“We brought the Export-Import Bank back to life, so American manufacturers and workers can compete against our foreign competitors on a level playing field,” Senator Kirk said. “We should ship goods, not jobs, overseas. Thanks to Senators Heitkamp, Blunt, Graham and Ayotte for working with me for over a year on this legislation to save American jobs.”

“On behalf of the thousands of Boeing employees and the suppliers who support us throughout the state of Illinois, we applaud Senator Kirk’s leadership on this critical issue. The legislation he and Senator Heitkamp spearheaded several months ago and that has now passed both Chambers of Congress with a supermajority will ensure American exporters and the skilled workers they employ can compete successfully in tough global markets. Congress did the right thing for workers at companies large and small across the nation, including the 1.5 million workers at nearly 15,000 U.S. companies that help Boeing design, make and support America’s aerospace exports,” said The Boeing Company.

“Today’s vote reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is great news for U.S. workers and businesses of all sizes. Thanks to Senator Kirk’s leadership, they can once again compete and win deals around the world. On behalf of our employees and suppliers, we join thousands of other Illinois businesses and exporters nationwide in recognizing his work to support American manufacturing,” said GE Transportation President and CEO Jamie Miller.

“Senator Kirk’s principled leadership was instrumental in overcoming the obstacles to the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The final passage of reauthorization is a victory for manufacturers and working Americans. It will help manufacturers in the U.S. compete in the global economy and create jobs. The previous lapse of the bank’s authorization and the series of delays that followed were disappointing, but leaders like Senator Kirk brought together a bipartisan coalition to do the right thing for jobs and the economy, said Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers

“Caterpillar commends Senator Kirk’s leadership and dedication to preserve and grow jobs in Illinois and the United States through reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. Our economy can only benefit when companies have the tools to compete on a level playing field with our global competitors. The Ex-Im Bank is important, not just to Caterpillar, but to our suppliers, customers, dealers and employees,” said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. 

“Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Kirk and others, more than 140 Illinois companies can once again compete on a level playing field with businesses in other countries that take advantage of the 78 foreign versions of the Ex-Im bank. The reauthorization provides new opportunities for Illinois to be a stronger part of the global economy,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Timeline of Events:

March 19, 2015: Senators Kirk and Heitkamp introduce the Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act (S. 819). 

June 10, 2015: A test vote on Ex-Im in the Senate passes 65-31.

June 30, 2015: Ex-Im charter expires, no new loans are made and companies consider moving jobs overseas.  

July 27, 2015: Senate passes Kirk-Heitkamp Ex-Im legislation as an amendment to the highway will (the DRIVE Act) by a vote of 64-29.

October 27, 2015: House passes Kirk-Heitkamp Ex-Im legislation with over 300 votes and a majority of the majority. The vote was 313-118

December 3, 2015: Highway bill keeps Kirk Ex-Im language intact, passes the House and Senate and is sent to the President’s desk.

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