House GOP ramps up pressure on Ex-Im

House Republicans are ramping up pressure on Export-Import Bank officials as the battle for the bank's reauthorization continues.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, wants Ex-Im Chairman Fred Hochberg to handover all the bank's board of directors meeting minutes since December 2010, according to a letter sent to Hochberg on Thursday.

McHenry also wants Hochberg to allow House Financial Services committee staff to interview top Ex-Im officials, according to a separate letter also sent Thursday: Charles J. Hall, executive vice president and chief risk officer; David M. Sena, chief financial officer; and Angela Mariana Freyre, senior vice president and general counsel.

Matthew Bevins, a spokesman for Ex-Im, said bank officials are planning to respond. 

"We have received the letters and we are working to respond to the Committees as quickly as possible," Bevins said.

House rules allow for a committee to study agencies to see whether they should be reformed or eliminated. McHenry wants a response from Hochberg by July 24.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Thursday that the House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into alleged corruption at the bank. 

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sent a letter to Ex-Im officials asking for more information regarding a Journal report last month that alleged a handful of Ex-Im employees were involved in corruption at the bank.

Congress needs to reauthorize Ex-Im before Sept. 30 or it shuts down. Tea Partiers argue that Ex-Im is "corporate welfare," while more centrist Republicans and most Democrats think it's needed to help finance U.S. businesses overseas while sustaining domestic jobs.