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

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

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

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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.