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WH ‘heartened’ after Boehner opens door to short-term Ex-Im deal

The White House is "heartened" by news that Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: How GOP takes back the House in two years Warren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick Principles to unify America MORE (R-Ohio) is considering a temporary extension of the Export-Import Bank, press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

"I was heartened by the fact that some of these news reports indicated that Republicans were supporting an extension of the Ex-Im authorization," Earnest said. "That's important, because we have talked at some length about the important role that the Ex-Im Bank can play in supporting our economy and supporting jobs here in the United States of America."

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Earlier in the day, Boehner said Financial Services Chairman Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingLawmakers battle over future of Ex-Im Bank House passes Ex-Im Bank reboot bill opposed by White House, McConnell Has Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? MORE (R-Texas) — a prominent critic of the lending institution — believes "a temporary extension of the Export-Import Bank is in order.”

Top House Republicans, including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse GOP uses procedural tool to protest proxy voting The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Tensions rise with Trump, Barr Watch live: McCarthy holds news briefing MORE (R-Calif.), had indicated they did not want to reauthorize the 80-year-old financing agency when its charter expires in September.

McCarthy and other conservatives have argued the private sector could fulfill the same role as the government lending institution, with Tea Party groups deriding it as an example of “crony capitalism.” Supporters, though, say the bank helps build markets for American companies and boosts jobs.

Boehner did not detail what legislative vehicle Republicans would use to pass an extension, or how long the temporary measure would fund the Ex-Im Bank.

Earnest said he did not have "a specific reaction to some of the proposals that have been floated, because I haven't seen them.” But he voiced general support for an extension.

"President Reagan, when he was in office, at least on one or two occasions, signed legislation extending the life of the Ex-Im Bank," he said. "So this is certainly consistent with previous positions taken by previous Republicans and even leading Republicans. So we certainly would welcome a Republican support for extending the life of the Ex-Im Bank."

The bank's charter expires on Sept. 30.