U.S. export lender in jeopardy as Republicans pull support

Speaker of the House Boehner arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Susan Cornwell and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A push to save the United States’ export credit agency struck a new hurdle on Tuesday when Congress’s top Republican refused to throw his support behind the Export-Import Bank after news that bank staff were under investigation for graft. The bank’s charter must be renewed by Sept. 30 for it to continue operating but the allegations of fraud have added to long-running criticism of handouts to big business and meddling by the government in the private sector. “We are going to continue to work with our members” on whether the bank’s role should be taken over by the private sector, House Speaker John Boehner said, sidestepping a question about whether he personally backed reauthorization. Supporters of Ex-Im in the pro-business wing of the Republican Party were already on the defensive after their No.2 in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, spoke out unexpectedly against the bank on Sunday.

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