Illinois businesses, particularly manufacturers, are hopeful Congress will re-authorize the Export-Import Bank this week.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) led a successful effort in the U.S. Senate over the weekend to attach a reauthorization measure to a bill on highway funding.
That was the over the objections of more conservative Republicans, who consider the bank an unnecessary government intrusion into the private sector and feel it benefits large corporations over small businesses.
Click here for summary
Mark Denzler, vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, argues it's a vital tool for American companies looking to do business overseas.
"This is not crony capitalism," Denzler said. "This is...a bank of last resort that manufacturers turn to only when they can't get traditional financing, and second of all, they do assess a fee or a charge on companies that use it, and that money's returned to the U.S. Treasury."
Denzler says since bank has helped Illinois companies export $8 billion worth of products over the past several years.