The White House and an influential pair of business organizations are calling for renewal of the Export-Import Bank, one day after newly elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said the agency should be phased out.
The bank's existence is emerging as a flashpoint in the internal Republican struggle between the business-backed establishment and tea party groups.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the bank helps American companies and supports job creation. The bank also returned $1 billion to the Treasury in the last budget year.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers sent an appeal to lawmakers calling for the bank's renewal, signed by 865 organizations.
The agency provides direct loans, loan guarantees and credit insurance to help foreign buyers purchase American-made products.