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US Commerce chief to pump for Export-Import Bank

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BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Secretary of Commerce is joining a Connecticut business executive and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy to pump up support for a banking agency targeted for elimination by conservative Republicans.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is scheduled to join the Democratic senator and Lou Auletta, president and chief executive of Bauer Inc., a Bristol aviation equipment manufacturer, on a conference call Friday to discuss the Export-Import Bank.

Congressional Democrats want the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to schedule a vote before the bank's charter expires in September, allowing it to back new loans.

Conservative Republicans say the bank is a form of corporate welfare. Backers say it promotes trade and helps create jobs.

It provides loans, loan guarantees and credit insurance to overseas buyers of U.S. goods.

The call is scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

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