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House Votes to Revive Ex-Im Bank (Video)


Ryan conducts a pen and pad briefing with reporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Ryan opposes the Export-Import Bank  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House conservatives are bracing themselves for indignity later this week, when a budget deal they hate is expected to be carried across the finish line by Democratic votes.  

They got warmed up early Tuesday evening, when the support of nearly every Democrat made it possible for 127 Republicans to circumvent GOP leadership and pass legislation to reopen the Export-Import Bank.  

The bipartisan, 313-118 victory was made possible through successful execution of a “discharge petition,” a quirky procedural maneuver that forces floor consideration of any bill within a certain window of time, provided enough members sign on in support.  

There isn’t a scenario where backers of the bank might have secured a floor vote otherwise. Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, who generally supports the bank’s existence, couldn’t facilitate reauthorization of the lapsed charter without running afoul of the hard-right base.  

The No. 2 and 3 Republicans in leadership, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, are strongly opposed, and so is Boehner’s likely successor, Ways and Means Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.  

Advocates of the agency saw an opening in Boehner’s impending departure to make a move.  

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has made it clear he will not move a standalone bill to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, which finances the sale of goods overseas. There is, however, still a way to get a renewal to the president’s desk.  

Senators earlier this year adopted an amendment to revive the agency during consideration of their multiyear transportation funding legislation, and both chambers are now poised in the weeks ahead to go to conference on a combined bill.  

Given the Senate’s 78-20 vote in May on Ex-Im, the bank language could be expected to survive the conference process and folded into the text of a six-year surface transportation and infrastructure measure as a policy rider.  

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