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Export-Import Bank Bill Hits Snag in Senate

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left) held a press conference today to urge the Senate to pass a House measure to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

The Club for Growth said it would “key vote” the House bill, arguing that the measure picks winners and losers, which the group believes is not the proper role of government.

“The bank’s financing helps some companies to the detriment of other firms and taxpayers,” the group said in a release before the House vote. “A prime example, among many, is the bank providing financing for foreign airlines to buy American air crafts, thus allowing those companies to better compete against American airlines.”

Also today, Senate Democratic leaders continued their criticism of Republicans for opposing a bill to avert an increase in student loan interest rates. The two parties agree rates should not go up, but disagree on how to offset the $6 billion cost.

“If they have another alternative ... put it forward,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Republicans expect a compromise will be worked out between House GOP leaders and Senate Democratic leaders.

They argue that Democrats are looking to score political points on the issue, but they believe the efforts to punish the GOP for its vote this week have been overshadowed by President Barack Obama’s announcement that he supports gay marriage, the GOP aide said.

Along with the Ex-Im Bank and student loan interest rates, Reid said the Senate will also take up a bill to extend Food and Drug Administration user fees, which fund reviews of prescription drugs and medical devices.

The Senate will also consider a small-business tax cut bill this month, which would provide a 10 percent income tax credit would on new payroll added in 2012. That credit would apply to new hires or increased wages. The bill also extends so-called bonus depreciation for one year, which allows businesses to write off the entire cost of major purchases in the year they are made rather than depreciate those expenses over many years.

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