It isn’t really a campaign issue, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) wants voters to know he favors reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. The bank is a government creation, 80 years old, that finances or insures the foreign purchase of American goods. Last year 128 Illinois companies benefitted, producing $1 billion in exports, while delivering a $1 billion profit to the U.S. Treasury.
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The bank’s charter expires next year, and Durbin says there’s opposition to extending it from those who think it interferes with the free market, and that it favors large businesses over small. “Our opposition: The Heritage Foundation, the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity, and a lot of groups on that end of the political spectrum. The far-right campaign to kill the Export-Import Bank is ideology run amok. It is placing Tea Party catechism over logic and good jobs for American workers,” he said.
In a speech on the subject, Durbin linked State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), the Republican Senate candidate, to those groups, but Oberweis says that’s a false connection – he says if the bank is good for business and doesn’t cost taxpayers anything, he’s for it.