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(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A filibuster-proof Senate majority backed the Export-Import Bank Wednesday night, but prospects for extending its charter before it expires at the end of the month remain doubtful.  

Sixty-five senators, including 22 Republicans, backed an amendment to extend the bank in a test vote, while 31 voted to kill it.  

The amendment to the defense authorization bill was immediately withdrawn, however, as backers hope to attach it to a bill more likely to head quickly to the president’s desk — such as a highway extension — or pass it as a standalone bill.  

“Where I am very excited about this bill — which is really the Kirk-Heitkamp bill — getting an overwhelming show of support, the reality is that if we do not vote on the Kirk-Heitkamp bill itself and pass it out of this chamber, at the end of the month the charter will expire,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said on the floor following the vote.  

Heitkamp said backers were promised a real vote to extend the bank before its charter expires as part of the deal to advance the fast-track trade bill, and said Wednesday’s vote didn’t suffice.  

The House isn’t expected to vote on an Export-Import Bank bill in the meantime.  


Trade Deal Tees Up Export-Import Bank Vote

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