Senators buck spending bill over Export-Import Bank
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

A bipartisan pair of senators indicated Thursday that they will vote against a short-term spending bill after GOP leadership left out a provision to bolster the Export-Import Bank.

“I will not vote for a Continuing Resolution which does not contain a fix for the Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank. We are losing American jobs to foreign competitors for no good reason," Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Graham warns Trump on Taliban deal in Afghanistan: Learn from 'Obama's mistakes' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid MORE (R-S.C.) said in a statement. 

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-N.D.) will also likely oppose the spending bill over the financial fight.

"Heitkamp has been pushing both members of the Democratic caucus and calling on Republicans in the House and Senate to support including Ex-Im in the CR, and at this point she is not planning on voting for the CR without it," an aide said.

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A provision backed by bank supporters that would change the bank board's quorum role — allowing the bank to approve transactions exceeding $10 million — was left out of a continuing resolution (CR) filed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump faces crucial decisions on economy, guns Are Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' MORE (R-Ky.). 

Though Congress reauthorized the board's charter last year, only two of the board's five seats are filled, undercutting its ability to approve larger transactions. 

Graham added Thursday that including the bank fix in the CR is necessary because "we need a fully functioning EX-IM Bank to help ensure American manufacturers are able to compete in the international marketplace on a level playing field." 

The South Carolina Republican warned earlier this month that including the provision would likely determine how he would vote on the continuing resolution. He's one of the first Senate Republicans to buck the GOP spending bill only hours after leadership filed it. 

Though the Export-Import Bank has support from both parties in both chambers it's gotten fierce pushback from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who chairs the Banking Committee. Including the measure could have also made it harder for the CR to pass through the House, where conservatives vocally oppose the bank.

Vicki Needham contributed.