Senators voted to revive the Export-Import Bank on Monday, setting themselves on a crash course with their House counterparts.
Lawmakers voted 64-29 on attaching a reauthorization of the bank's charter, which expired last month, to a long-term highway bill.
The amendment, from Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill), reauthorizes the bank's charter through the fall of 2019.
Supporters of Export-Import Bank were widely expected to be successful, after getting 67 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle and end debate on the amendment Sunday.
But the move adds another hurdle to an already uphill path for the six-year bill in the House, where Republican leadership has suggested the proposal is dead on arrival.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said earlier Monday that the House will not be “taking up the Senate bill," suggesting that if lawmakers want to avoid a gap in federal infrastructure funding they have to pass a short-term bill.
But Senate Republicans continued to insist otherwise even in the wake of the California lawmakers strong language.
Kirk said Monday evening that "there is no reason" why the House can't pass the Senate's highway legislation, including the Ex-Im reauthorization.
"This is the bill we want to pass, and when we get it passed we hope the House will see the light," Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears MORE (R-Utah) told reporters earlier, asked about the Senate legislation's chances in the lower chamber.
Meanwhile, Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeTop Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal Austin, Milley to testify on Afghanistan withdrawal The Pentagon budget is already out of control: Some in Congress want to make it worse MORE (R-Okla.) appeared to dismiss McCarthy's comments on Monday evening, suggesting they were made "off the cuff."
Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp The Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Matthew McConaughey on potential political run: 'I'm measuring it' MORE (R-Texas) suggested late last week McConnell lied about allowing a vote on the bank as part of a deal to get needed support on a trade bill, a move that earned the firebrand Republican swift blowback from his colleagues.
After the vote, Cruz slammed what he's termed the "McConnell-Reid leadership team" and called on House lawmakers to keep their pledge to block the Senates bill.
“Tonight, the McConnell-Reid leadership team pushed through another win for the Washington Cartel, and they did so at the taxpayers’ expense," the Texas Republican added. “Worse still, the one person who had the ability to make sure the Ex-Im Bank remained expired was the majority leader."Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden meets with lawmakers amid domestic agenda panic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles MORE (R-S.C.) was the bank's lone supporter from the party's four presidential candidates, while Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Democrats face bleak outlook in Florida The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems attempt to tie government funding, Ida relief to debt limit MORE (R-Fla.) didn't vote.