WASHINGTON — Urging Republicans to reauthorize funding of the Export-Import Bank, Commerce Secretary John Bryson said that losing the institution and its vital role in the economy would be "unacceptable."
Many in the GOP have been blocking the Obama administration's proposed reauthorization, under which the bank's total lending authority would increase to $140 billion by 2015 from the current $100-billion cap.
"Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank should be a straightforward, sound and simple decision," Bryson said Friday. "Or put another way, losing Ex-Im at a time when America's businesses and workers are just getting back on their feet would be unacceptable."
Bryson made the comments in prepared remarks before a receptive audience — the bank's annual conference in Washington.
His push for reauthorization, part of an overall Obama administration effort, came a day after former President Clinton made the same pitch in his keynote address at the conference.