OVERNIGHT FINANCE: Ex-Im momentum?

TOMORROW STARTS TONIGHT: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) still haven’t unveiled their bill to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, but several key Republican senators voiced interest in the legislation. And Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) gave a surprising answer when we interviewed him earlier today. Toomey, mind you, is the former president of the Club For Growth, which has become one of the most vocal critics of Ex-Im.

EXCLUSIVE – TOOMEY ON EX-IM REAUTHORIZATION:

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1.) Do you support Ex-Im reauthorization? “I think at a minimum Ex-Im Bank would have to be significantly reformed. What we ought to be doing is working with our training partners to have a mutual and reciprocal phasing out of these banks.”

2.) Will you support Ex-Im reauthorization with reforms? “I’ll leave it at that.”

-- FLASHBACK, Toomey on the Senate floor in May 2012: "In 2008, President Obama, referring to Ex-Im Bank, said, ‘This is little more than a fund for corporate welfare.' Well, I think that's a little harsh... if our German and French and Chinese and Russian taxpayers are made to take a risk in subsidizing the sale of their manufacturers, then our taxpayers ought to take a similar risk.” Video: http://bit.ly/VGHMWq.

THIS IS OVERNIGHT FINANCE, where we’re never a little harsh, except in our criticism of Brazil’s pathetic performance on the pitch this afternoon. Tweet: @kevcirilli; email: kcirilli@thehill.com; and subscribe: http://thehill.com/signup/48

BORDER BUDGET BATTLE, via The Hill’s Vicki Needham: “Congress will begin the process this week of examining a nearly $4 billion emergency request to help deploy more resources to deal with the surge in unaccompanied children and other migrants from Central America.

“House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that his panel will look carefully at the Obama administration’s $3.7 billion emergency spending request to address the sharp rise in U.S. border crossings.” http://bit.ly/1oyZqDI.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats vowed to quickly approve Obama’s budget request.

Back to Ex-Im...

DAYS UNTIL EX-IM EXPIRES: 83. Most Ex-Im supporters still think that if the Senate reauthorizes Ex-Im with broad bipartisan support, it could pressure the House to do the same.

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.): “I’m thinking about co-sponsoring... I’ve been out there for years on this... I’m committed to seeing the bank reauthorized because it’d be a deathblow to the economy... I’m not averse to going to a world without Ex-Im banks, I’m just not going to unilaterally disarm.”

— Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.): “I lean toward the reauthorization, but I’m waiting to hear the arguments.”

— Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio): “I support having an Ex-Im. I think it needs to be reformed. And I’m working on some reforms with [Kirk and Manchin].”

There might not be a deal in sight for Ex-Im, but there could be one for the Highway Trust Fund.

DEAL? HIGHWAY TRUST FUND FINDS FAST LANE, as our Bernie Becker and Alex Bolton report: “The Senate’s top tax writer said Tuesday that lawmakers were getting closer to a deal to shore up a Highway Trust Fund that is just weeks away from going broke.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he has been deep in negotiations with Republicans since the Senate returned on Monday, and said on Tuesday afternoon that he hoped to be able to announce something more concrete in ‘the next couple hours.’” http://bit.ly/1jcnyyf.

HOUSE HIGHWAY STOPGAP, from The Hill’s Keith Laing: “The House Ways and Means Committee is proposing a $10.5 billion eight-month transportation funding bill to push debate over road and transit spending into the next Congress. The proposal, which was released Tuesday afternoon, calls for a temporary extension of current transportation funding levels until May 31, 2015.” http://bit.ly/1stZDdS

MARK YOU CALENDAR – YELLEN TO HILL NEXT WEEK. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will deliver her semi-annual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees next Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. (via WSJhttp://on.wsj.com/1su0dbO).

FED WATCH -- HOUSE FINSERV TO VOTE ON FED BILL, as Pete Schroeder reports: “New legislation that will be considered Thursday by the House Financial Services Committee would place significant restrictions on how the Fed conducts monetary policy and regulates banks while subjecting it to added scrutiny from lawmakers.” http://bit.ly/U25Hyo.

Somewhere, Ron Paul is smiling...

MARKET WATCH – DOW DROPS BELOW 1700, via Chuck Mikolajczak for Reuters: “U.S. stocks fell in a broad selloff on Tuesday, dropping for a second straight session and driving the Dow below 17,000 as investors turned cautious before the start of earnings season.” http://reut.rs/1qS67FL.

FIRST LOOK – CHAMBER TO HOUSE: HURRY UP ON TRIA. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined The Commercial Real Estate Finance Council as well as other insurance groups in a letter sent today to House leadership.

“[We] urge the House to create a process to address concerns in the proposed reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act so that it can be brought expeditiously to the floor,” the groups wrote. Read the letter: http://bit.ly/1xOFVMV

NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION RE-STOCKS STAFF, Vicki Needham reports: NRF officials found themselves front-and-center during the recent Target data breach policy scandal. They’ve since hired Paul Martino as vice president and senior policy counsel and has promoted Beth Provenzano to vice president for federal government relations to help their team.

DEMS PRESSURE BOEHNER TO REAUTHORIZE EX-IM. Three congressional Democrats – Sens. Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray and Rep. Denny Heck (each from Washington) – sent a letter on Tuesday to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) urging him to let the House vote on legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank before its charter expires in September. Vicki Needham with the scooplet: http://bit.ly/VW8VVY.

ECONOMISTS: INFLATION FEARS OVERBLOWN, Pete Schroeder for the hometown paper: “Economists see little risk of a surge in inflation, despite mounting evidence that the American economy is rumbling to life.

“Recent economic data have shown the employment picture improving more quickly than expected, with jobs being added at a pace of nearly 300,000 a month — the magic number that economists say would be needed to bring down the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment rate.” http://bit.ly/VGJkzI.

 

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