House Democrats urge opposition of Export-Import Bank amendments to highway bill

Four top House Democrats are urging their colleagues to oppose any amendments to a highway bill that would damage efforts to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.), House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (Calif.) and Reps. Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreA dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment On The Money: Senate panel scraps vote on key spending bill amid standoff | Democrats threaten to vote against defense bill over wall funding | Trump set to meet with aides about reducing capital gains taxes MORE (Wis.) and Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE (Wash.) sent a letter to the House Democratic Caucus on Monday, calling on the group to oppose the two-dozen amendments aimed at stopping a renewal of the Ex-Im Bank's funding.

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"In an effort to block the Export-Import Bank’s reauthorization, a number of opponents of the Bank have filed amendments to the highway bill that would kill reauthorization efforts," the lawmakers wrote.

"Regardless of the merits — or lack thereof — of individual amendments, the simple fact is that adoption of any amendment would open this issue to damaging and potentially fatal changes during the highway bill conference," they wrote.

The Democrats called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial McConnell: I doubt any GOP senator will vote to impeach Trump McConnell says he'll be in 'total coordination' with White House on impeachment trial strategy MORE (R-Ky.) to take up the House-passed measure. 

“The Senate, which has already passed this legislation as an amendment to its highway bill, should take up this stand-alone measure and send it to the president’s desk for his signature,” the letter said. 

Last week, the House easily passed a bill — 313-118 — to renew the bank’s charter, which expired in June.

"We cannot afford to risk further delay in re-opening the Bank by adopting poison pill amendments designed to derail its reauthorization," the Democrats wrote.

The House is considering a highway bill that contains the Senate-passed Ex-Im reauthorization language.  

McConnell has said he wouldn't provide any more floor time to the bank's renewal and that it would need to be passed as part of a long-term highway measure. 

The House is expected to pass a bill this week before heading out of town for a weeklong recess.

"Members attempting to offer amendments have missed the boat," said Jared Favole, spokesman for the Exporters for Ex-Im Coalition.

"The House and Senate have already overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation that reauthorizes Ex-Im and includes the toughest reforms to the agency since President Ronald Reagan," he said.

"Anyone attempting to delay that from becoming law will be needlessly inflicting harm on U.S. workers."