Ex-Im support, opposition is fluid

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Four in 10 House Republicans are on record as being opposed to reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, highlighting the challenge supporters face in winning a vote.

Ninety-three House Republicans voted against extending the bank’s charter a little more than two years ago, the last time there was a vote.

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Since then, the bank has only become more toxic as groups like Heritage Action and the Club for Growth have sounded the alarm that is represents a form of crony capitalism. 

Several Republicans who voted for the bank in 2012, including new House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), now say they’ll oppose it.

But a handful of members who voted no have said they could consider changing their votes if the bank is reformed.

Seventy-nine Republicans who voted against the bank in 2012 remain in the House, and 15 of them told The Hill they would vote to terminate the bank if it comes up for another vote.

Six of the 79 remain undecided and five said they may consider a reauthorization with another round of reforms.

Meanwhile, four of the 147 Republicans who supported the bank in May 2012 have said they would vote against it now. 

That number includes McCarthy and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over the agency. 

Forty-four Republicans have said they will vote to reauthorize the bank, including 41 who signed a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) this week.

One business source insisted there is substantial support within the GOP for reauthorizing the bank that goes beyond those members.

House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), a leading opponent of the bank, acknowledged members are under pressure. He joked to the Fox Business Network that by helping to start a lobbying fight, he’s helped put “1,000 lobbyists' kids through college.”

There were some signs this week that the business’s groups message that killing the bank would kill jobs in their districts was resonating.

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), both members of the House Financial Services Committee, each told The Hill on Friday that they are considering introducing reauthorization bills that include reforms to the bank.

Fincher's support is significant because he voted against reauthorizing Ex-Im two years ago. 

For Ex-Im to be reauthorized, however, it seems inevitable that the bank will have to accept some reforms. 

Hensarling earlier this week said that even though there is division within the House GOP over how to handle the bank, Republicans are united that “we cannot reauthorize the status quo.”