Export-Import Bank set for expiration due to congressional inaction; businesses warn of harm

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The federal Export-Import Bank will phase out starting at midnight Tuesday due to congressional inaction.

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The bank is a small government agency that provides financial support to U.S. businesses selling their products overseas.

Business leaders say it's important for U.S. competitiveness globally. But many Republicans say it amounts to corporate welfare and the federal government interfering in the private sector.

GOP leaders — under pressure from tea party-backed conservatives and the party's leading presidential candidates — chose to let the bank's charter expire rather than try to renew it ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

Conservatives are declaring victory. But it may be short-lived, as supporters of the bank plan to attempt to revive it once Congress returns to Washington in July after an Independence Day recess.