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Club for Growth key-votes Export-Import Bank vote

The conservative Club for Growth is urging House lawmakers to oppose a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank expected to hit the floor next week.

The group, which has been staunchly opposed to renewing the bank’s charter, also asked lawmakers not to sign the discharge petition that would force the House to consider and probably pass an Ex-Im bill within the next few days.

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“The Export-Import Bank is a slush fund for corporate welfare that is riddled with corruption,” said Andy Roth, vice president of government affairs, on Friday. 

"It should not be reauthorized, especially in a manner that allows a small number of liberal Republicans to defy the GOP-controlled House and force the issue with the support of big government Democrats," he said.

Earlier this month, Republican and Democratic supporters of the bank made a move to renew the charter that expired in July by signing a discharge petition to get around conservative opponents that had blocked a reauthorization measure from reaching the floor.

The club is key-voting any vote on the bill for use in its congressional scorecard and said that if a lawmaker signs the petition and votes for the bill, it will be more heavily weighted on the scorecard.

Lawmakers who remove their names from the petition will receive no penalty if they do so ahead of the vote.

The bank’s charter lapsed June 30, so the agency can't extend any new financing. But it can oversee its commitments.

At a House hearing on Friday, Linda Dempsey, vice president of international economic affairs for the National Association of Manufacturers, said "the Export-Import Bank is essential to boosting exports of U.S. products."

Dempsey said that the bank has created more than $27 billion in exports with "nearly 90 percent of those transactions directly supported small-businesses, with an estimated $5 billion in support for small business exporters" while maintaining a low default rate.