McCarthy would hand Ex-Im Bank to Hensarling as leader

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Wednesday he would defer to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on the Export-Import Bank if made majority leader.

The commitment is a blow to the fate of the bank, which has served as a key point of contention between establishment Republicans and their more conservative counterparts. Hensarling has been a vocal advocate of killing the bank, which expires at the end of September, calling it "crony capitalism" committed by the fedreal government.

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On Wednesday morning, McCarthy met with his fellow Republican lawmakers behind closed doors to discuss his bid to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) as Majority Leader. He appeared alongside other GOP lawmakers vying for a new leadership spot after Cantor's surprising primary defeat upended the House Republican power structure.

There, McCarthy told lawmakers that he would defer to Hensarling, who chairs the committee with jurisdiction over the bank, on what to do with it.

Cantor too had said he was deferring to Hensarling on the bank, but his defeat was seen as a blow to business interests eager to see it renewed. Cantor was widely seen as an ally of the business community, and helped broker a deal to extend the bank the last time it was due to expire.

Cristina Marcos and Russell Berman contributed to this report.