Transportation deal includes Ex-Im renewal

Transportation deal includes Ex-Im renewal
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A deal struck Tuesday on a long-term transportation bill contains language reauthorizing the federal Export-Import Bank for four years.

The bank's charter, which expired at the end of June, has been the subject of heated debate between business groups urging renewal of the 81-year-old institution and conservatives who want Ex-Im shuttered.

"A multi-year reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank will help expand U.S. exports, create jobs and support economic growth,” said Thomas Linebarger, chairman of the Business Roundtable International Engagement Committee and chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc.

“Given the highly competitive global economy, American businesses of all sizes rely on the Ex-Im Bank to level the playing field in overseas markets," he said.

On Tuesday, lawmakers reached agreement on a five-year highway bill with funding set to lapse this week.

A group of House Republicans and Democrats — led by Rep. Stephen FincherStephen FincherRep. Fincher to retire Export-Import Bank takes step toward renewal Transportation deal includes Ex-Im renewal MORE (R-Tenn.) and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) — worked together through the summer and in October used a rare procedural manuever known as a discharge petition to force a floor vote.

"I think that's a positive victory for jobs and for our economy," Hoyer told reporters on Tuesday. "So I'm hopeful that it will move forward.”

Republicans including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanThe Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Gun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker Tim Murphy to retire at end of term MORE (Wis.) have said the bank represents "crony capitalism" and needed to be closed permanently to lessen taxpayers exposure to risk posed by the bank, which helps finance oversees projects involving U.S. companies.

The Senate had included a renewal in its version of the highway bill this summer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE  (R-Ky.) said the only path for Ex-Im was via a transportation spending bill, even after the House easily passed a reauthorization bill with more than 300 votes. 

On Nov. 4 the House easily passed the Ex-Im renewal on a 313-118 vote with 127 Republicans supporting the bank.

The bank's charter is reauthorized through fiscal 2019. 

This story was updated at 5 p.m.