President Obama on Wednesday signed a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank that would raise its lending authority 40 percent to $140 billion by 2014 and pressed Congress to pass a list of other top White House priorities aimed at creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Enough Republicans came to the 78-year-old bank’s aid to move the bill to the president’s desk earlier this month after conservatives inCongress assailed it for meddling in the free market.
Increasing the bank’s lending power ensures “that we’re not just known as a nation that consumes,” the president said Wednesday at a signing ceremony. “We’ve got to be a nation that produces.”
Republicans quickly accused the president of hypocrisy, pointing out that he had called the bank “little more than a fund for corporate welfare” during the 2008 campaign and promised to eliminate it.
They also reminded voters that despite Mr. Obama’s longtime disdain for corporate jets and corporate jet owners, the bill includes $1 billion in subsidies for corporate jet manufacturers, which have experienced a steep decline in demand for the jets in recent years.