House braces for late night on Ex-Im bank

House braces for late night on Ex-Im bank

The House is bracing for a late night of votes Monday on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank thanks to the use of a rarely invoked procedure.

Action won't start until about 6:30 p.m. during the first House vote series of the week. More votes are expected later Monday night, but the exact timing is unclear because Ex-Im opponents may employ delaying tactics.

The procedure forcing action on the bank, known as a discharge petition, was last successfully used in 2002 for the House version of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation.

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Final action on the underlying bill to reauthorize the bank's charter, which expired on June 30, likely won't happen until Tuesday afternoon.

Rep. Stephen FincherStephen Lee FincherTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP MORE (R-Tenn.), the discharge petition's sponsor, is expected to start the process by bringing up a motion to discharge the resolution from the House Rules Committee. His motion will then receive 20 minutes of debate equally divided between proponents and opponents.

If the resolution is adopted, the House would then proceed to consideration of the rule authored by Fincher that outlines debate parameters for the underlying Ex-Im reauthorization bill. One hour of debate will be provided for the rule. 

If the rule is then approved, the House could then turn to an hour of debate on the actual reauthorization bill. But a final vote on the bill would likely be delayed until Tuesday, and it is possible the House could push the hour of debate on the actual bill to Tuesday.

Opponents of the Export-Import Bank will have limited opportunities to stall the proceedings. House rules explicitly limit the chances for any "dilatory motion" while considering a discharge petition that has the support of a majority.

Under House rules, opponents can call two total motions to adjourn over the course of the discharge petition process. That can be once during the debate on the motion to discharge, and once more during debate on the rule.

Advancement and passage of the bill are expected due to virtually unanimous support from Democrats and the 42 Republicans who signed on to the discharge petition. 

Fincher joined forces with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in late July to start the discharge petition in defiance of conservatives who thought they had managed to quash the Export-Import Bank.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) oppose the bank, calling it a form of corporate welfare, and have kept legislation to renew the bank from being considered.

Hensarling in a letter Friday implored his House colleagues to oppose the effort to bypass his committee.

"This isn't about us. ... It's about whether we support regular order or not," Hensarling wrote in a letter with Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the Rules Committee.

This story was updated at 2:37 p.m.