U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., sent a letter with Senators John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, Jeanne Shaheen, Maria Cantwell, and Kay Hagan to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell requesting that the Senate move forward as soon as possible to reauthorize the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank before its temporary extension expires in May.
The Senators wrote in the letter:
"The financing that Ex-Im Bank provides is a critical tool for small businesses to increase foreign sales. Congress must act to help these exporting entrepreneurs increase jobs and profitability here at home.
"Over the past 76 years, Ex-Im Bank has diligently followed its mission to enable U.S. companies to turn export opportunities into real sales. These sales, in turn, help maintain and create U.S. jobs which contribute to a strong national economy."
In Fiscal Year 2011 alone, Ex-Im Bank provided a record $32.7 billion in export financing (including an all-time high of $6 billion in export financing to small businesses) and supported $40.6 billion in export sales. All this work has been done while still returning a profit for taxpayers. Since 2005, $3.7 billion has been sent to the U.S. Treasury due to Ex-Im Bank profits.