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Senate Renews Export-Import Bank's Charter

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The U.S. Senate yesterday passed legislation to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank, a bank that businesses in the D.C. region say helps keep goods flowing through Maryland's ports.

The Export-Import Bank is a government entity that helps insure U.S. goods in order to entice more foreign trade with American companies. Business groups support it, but some Tea Party conservatives oppose the bank, arguing it intervenes in the "free market." Republicans initially delayed the bill to renew the bank's charter, but it ultimately passed both chambers by wide margins largely because business gruops from across the U.S. came out in strong support of the measure. 

Those supporters say the bank is essential for U.S. companies whose global competitors enjoy similar guarantees from their governments. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) believes the the Senate passage helps the D.C.region's economy. 

"It allows for export activity that otherwise, in this very difficult economy, would be another reason why we would see our economy not be able to continue with the progress we re making," Cardin said Tuesday.

In a statement, President Obama praised lawmakers for renewing the Export-Import Bank. But then he chided lawmakers for continuing to block other portions of his jobs bill, such as a measure to give small businesses incentives to hire. 

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