House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called Tea Partyers who oppose reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank “unrealistic” on Tuesday.
Hoyer has pushed for House Democrats to champion reauthorizing the 80-year-old bank during the August recess. The bank’s charter is due to expire on September 30.
Business groups back the bank, but Republicans are divided over whether its charter should be renewed, with some conservatives arguing it is a form of "crony capitalism" that gives favored businesses special treatment.
That’s given Democrats a political opportunity, and Hoyer has made reauthorizing Ex-Im a part of House Democrats' “Made in America Agenda,” which touts various trade and manufacturing initiatives.
“There is a deep division within the party, with some of the most conservative members — led by [Rep.] Jeb Hensarling [R-Texas] — who believe that the government ought to play no role at all in the global marketplace,” Hoyer said on a conference call with reporters. “We think that's unrealistic.”
Hensarling chairs the House Financial Services Committee and has been tight-lipped about whether he'd move a bill through his committee.
Hoyer predicted that in some way or another, Congress will act to renew the bank’s charter.
“Whether the Senate passes it, whether they add it to a bill that continues funding for the government. ... In one form or another, we'll get it through,” Hoyer said. “Every [House] Democrat is prepared to vote for it. ... The Democratic Party is united on this.”