The U.S. Senate gave final passage May 15 to legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States for three years and raising its lending authority from $100 billion to $140 billion.

The Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 2072), which passed the House of Representatives May 9, cleared the Senate by a vote of 78-20 and now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.

The bank’s charter would have expired May 31 without congressional action. The government-backed loans and credit guarantees the bank provides U.S. companies have played an increasingly common role in export sales of American aerospace goods, including satellites.

The Aerospace Industries Association, an Arlington, Va.-based trade group, hailed passage of the bill, calling it “particularly helpful to small- and medium-sized manufacturers who need to boost their exports to offset shrinking federal budgets.”