The U.S. Senate showed support for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank during a test vote Wednesday.
The 31-65 vote kept alive a proposed amendment to renew the bank’s charter, which is scheduled to expire at the end of this month. Although two senators offered the amendment during consideration of a defense policy bill, Wednesday’s vote was intended to be only a preliminary skirmish over the 81-year-old bank.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said Ex-Im supporters were trying to find “a must-pass piece of legislation to keep the bank afloat.” Ex-Im supporters include Senator Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican.
“This will be a signal to the markets that the Senate is in support of the bank,” Graham said before the vote. “This is not the last vote we’ll take on Ex-Im Bank.”