A new fight is brewing in the U.S. Senate over government aid given to companies that tries to help them compete on the global stage. At issue is the Export-Import Bank, a self-financing agency which loans money to companies whose competitors receive help from foreign governments.
However, the Bank’s authorization will soon expire in May and needs Congressional approval to continue after that. It’s an issue that has pitted South Carolina’s two senators against each other. Sen. Lindsey Graham is co-sponsored an amendment last week with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) that reauthorizes the grant through 2015.
“I firmly believe that the American business community… could compete with anybody in the world when you have a level playing field,” Graham told reporters in a conference call Monday. “But not only do we not have a level playing field, but when it comes to Ex-Im-type financing, other countries are very involved.”
However, fellow South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint says the Export-Import Bank is a form of “corporate welfare.” He said government should not be involved in business loans and that he would only support reauthorization if the bank was phased out in the coming years.