U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) touts two recent successes in Congress which may help Illinois businesses., while also suggesting nuclear power is part of his preferred solution to climate change.   
Speaking at the Illinois Manufacturers' Association luncheon, Kirk proclaimed he "saved the Export-Import Bank of the United States," as its reauthorization had been included in the large transportation funding legislation passed by Congress this week.
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"The Ex-Im Bank is signed, sealed, and delivered," Kirk said, "and that is not being debated. It's in the conference report, it can't be taken out, and it's attached to a $600 billion transportation bill."
It's the first long-term bill funding roads, bridges, and rail systems in a decade.
Kirk had sponsored legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank's charter, which expired in June. It's now authorized through September 2019.
During his remarks, Kirk touched on everything from helping Illinois businesses sell their goods in China to his thoughts on a solution to climate change, which he believes should focus on expanding the use of nuclear power.
"11 reactors here in this state, and I'm going to make sure that we have an easier permitting process and emphasize nuclear power, which we are so expert at in Illinois," Kirk said.
Kirk didn't address his votes this week where he was outlier within his own party. He voted against a Senate bill to defund the Affordable Care Act and cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and voted along with Democrats on a measure to block people on the federal government's terrorism watch list from legally buying firearms.
(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com )