Tea Party groups unite against Export-Import

More than 50 conservative groups sent a letter to lawmakers on Monday urging them to not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

Congress is grappling with whether to reauthorize the bank's charter, which is set to expire on June 30 unless Congress votes to extend it.

The letter is perhaps the most cohesive effort to date on behalf of Tea Party groups in opposing the bank.

"Eliminating the Export-Import Bank would level the playing field and allow U.S. companies to compete for business on their merits rather than the strength of their political ties to the bank," the groups wrote in the letter, obtained first by The Hill.

Tea Party group Americans For Prosperity helped organize the letter, which was also signed by Americans For Tax Reform, the Club For Growth, Freedom Partners and FreedomWorks.

Other Republicans and Democrats — backed by a broad coalition in the business community — argue the Ex-Im helps support U.S. jobs by financing projects in emerging markets where the private sector won't act.

Not according to the Tea Party.

"America deserves an international trade policy that is based on free-market mechanisms, not paying foreign companies to buy exports from large corporations with political connections," the groups wrote.

Top administration officials, including national security adviser Susan Rice and Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny PritzkerDeVos should ‘persist’ despite liberal opposition Indiana teachers hold sit-in to demand Young recuse himself from DeVos vote Overnight Tech: Trump team eyes FCC overhaul | AT&T chief says no plans to spin off CNN in merger | Commerce pick heads to hearing MORE, are scheduled to speak later this week at the bank's annual conference in Washington.

Supporters of the bank have also sent high-profile messages. Earlier this month, thirty governors — 11 of them Republican — sent a letter to congressional leadership urging reauthorization.

And the U.S. business community has rallied behind the bank, uniting hundreds of small- and medium- sized businesses to argue to lawmakers that the bank helps sustain U.S. jobs throughout the country.

The bank's future is unclear because of the Republican division. GOP presidential candidates Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: 'All options should be on table' if Flynn refuses new subpoenas Rubio ‘not optimistic’ on Middle East peace DHS extends protected status for Haitians for six months MORE (Fla.), Rand PaulRand PaulOvernight Defense: Trump budget gets thumbs down from hawks | UK raises threat level after Manchester attack | Paul to force vote on 0B Saudi arms deal Paul plans to force vote on 0B Saudi defense deal Sheriff Clarke denies plagiarism report, calls reporter a 'sleaze bag' MORE (Ky.) and Ted CruzTed CruzLobbying World GOP skeptical of Trump plan for paid parental leave GOP talks of narrowing ‘blue-slip’ rule for judges MORE (Texas) each oppose the bank.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) also opposes the bank and he hasn't said if he will move a reauthorization bill through his panel, which has jurisdiction on the issue.

If he doesn't, House leadership could buck Hensarling and bring a bill right to the floor, upsetting the Tea Party along the way.