McCarthy deals blow to Ex-Im Bank supporters

Soon-to-be House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday dealt a blow to supporters of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, saying he would not support its reauthorization.

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While McCarthy supported reauthorizing the bank in 2012, he said he is now for letting the bank’s authorization expire in September.

“The last authorization with the Ex-Im Bank directed the president and the Treasury secretary to wind down the Ex-Im Bank, negotiate with the other countries to wind them down so we have a level playing field,” said McCarthy on "Fox News Sunday."

“We’ve got hearings going on next week in Financial Services [Committee], which I sit on. I think Ex-Im Bank is something government does not have to be involved in; the private sector can do it,” he added.

Recently, business groups raised concerns the shake-up of the House leadership would spell doom for reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank, which helps finance American businesses' foreign sales.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the incoming House majority whip, was an Ex-Im critic during the 2012 reauthorization battle.

Neither the Senate nor the House have yet to produce a reauthorization bill. Without a bill, the bank will cease doing business when its charter expires on Sept. 30.

Supporters say Ex-Im is needed to help U.S. companies stay competitive in foreign markets. Critics say it's corporate welfare designed to pump money for big business.

As part of his bid to become majority leader, McCarthy told his Republican colleagues in a closed-door meeting that he wouldn't overstep Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on Ex-Im. Hensarling is another critic of the bank. His committee has jurisdiction on the issue.

If McCarthy were to have brought a bill to the floor without Hensarling's approval, it could have stoked the feud between the GOP establishment and the tea party just months before the midterm elections.

— Kevin Cirilli contributed to this report, which was updated at 1:54 p.m.