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Export-Import Bank poised for revival

Export-Import Bank poised for revival
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The Export-Import Bank appears poised to come back from the dead, after House lawmakers preserved its reauthorization in a six-year highway bill.

House members voted Thursday to pass the $325 billion highway bill, including a provision that reauthorizes the bank’s charter until the end of fiscal 2019.

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House and Senate members will conference soon to resolve differences between their highway bills, but Ex-Im’s inclusion in both virtually reassures its reauthorization. Conferees are aiming to complete and pass a compromise highway funding package before current funding expires on Nov. 20.

The bank, which guarantees loans for U.S. companies doing business in foreign countries, saw its charter expire at the end of June, after conservatives targeted its defeat.

Conservatives inside and outside the Capitol blasted the Ex-Im as “crony capitalism,” and enjoyed backing from several members of House GOP leadership.

But both the Senate and House highway bills included a provision reauthorizing it.

House backers of the bank got a major leg up in October, when they succeeded in pushing a rare discharge petition to force a vote on the bank over objections of GOP leaders.

When the discharge petition forced a vote on reauthorizing the bank, it was easily passed with majority support from House Republicans.

Conservative critics of the bank were unable to strip its reauthorization from the highway bill sent over by the Senate, as bank backers pointed to the 313-118 vote to reauthorize it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Criminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot MORE (R-Ky.) did not want to consider a standalone Ex-Im bill, but its place in both highway bills is a strong indication it will be reauthorized.