GOP Rep expects Ex-Im Bank to pass the House this month

A leading Republican said Tuesday he expects the House to pass a bill reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank before it expires at the end of the month. 

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerHouse Republicans bash Democrats' China competition bill Romney participating in fundraiser for Liz Cheney Cheney hits Gingrich for saying Jan. 6 panel members may be jailed MORE (R-Ill.), a deputy whip, said he thinks the Senate will take up the issue first and attach it to a broader, must-pass bill that most House Republicans will eventually vote for, teaming up with Democrats to reauthorize the program. 

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“You’re going to have a contingent of the folks on the far-right that don’t want it,” Kinzinger said at an event hosted by The Hill and sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). “But I think if it comes to a vote on the floor, you’re going to have a majority of Republicans, and I think you’ll have, obviously a majority of Democrats. I think the numbers are there in the House.”

The politics of Ex-Im are sticky in the House, where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) supports reauthorizing the program, but Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and a handful of key committee chairmen oppose it. Tea Party groups have said the bank, which provides government-backed loans to companies so they can sell their products overseas, only benefits big corporations, giving them an unfair leg-up in their markets.

McCarthy did not include an Ex-Im reauthorization measure on the House’s June schedule, raising the possibility Congress might miss its end-of-the-month deadline to keep the program going. 

“One of my concerns about how Washington, D.C. works is we kind of wait until we’re in an emergency scenario,” Kinzinger said. “Everybody knows this is an issue that has to be addressed, but nobody wants to be the one to address it.”

Kinzinger was speaking at an event on nuclear power in the United States. The nuclear industry is one of many industries that have pushed Congress to reauthorize the program.

Kinzinger pitched the bank as a national security issue, giving American companies the ability to sell their products in overseas markets that might otherwise partner with countries like Russia. 

“We cannot unilaterally disarm on the world stage,” he said. “You can’t have your cake and say, ‘ISIS is a problem, China is a problem,’ and then also eat it too and say, ‘oh, crony capitalism, kill Ex-Im bank.’ There are real jobs that rely on it.”